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November 15, 2000 Vol. 55 No. 21 Back to Bulletin Main Page

Breaking New Ground: Shanghai Roundtable a Success

An International Recruiting Roundtable was held on October 9, 2000, at the Regal East Asia International Hotel in Shanghai. The Roundtable was sponsored by INTA, and held in conjunction with the China Trademark Association (CTA). The Roundtable represents a joint effort by the China Subcommittee of the External Affairs Committee and the International Recruitment Roundtable Subcommittee of the Membership Committee.

The topic, "Protection of Domain Names and Trademarks," generated a lively and interesting discussion. The guest speaker, Mr. Liu Zhijian of CNNIC (China's Internet administrative body) is one of the authors of China's Draft Internet Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy. Approximately 35 individuals attended, including Mr. Jingming Wang, the Secretary-General of CTA, a high court judge, a trademark office official and representatives from Chinese companies. Also in attendance were INTA Members Wayne Gu of Abelman Frayne & Schwab and Loke Khoon Tan of Baker and McKenze. The China Subcommittee Chair, Laura Young (Wang and Wang), ably moderated the discussion. The Vice Chair of the Membership Committee, Michelle Harbottle (Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich, LLP), made an inaugural visit to China as a representative of INTA.

The Shanghai Roundtable marks the first time an INTA roundtable has been held in China. The Roundtable program was largely modeled on roundtables held in the United States except the program was extended from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. with lunch following the discussion.

The majority of those in attendance actively participated in the discussion with a free flowing question and answer period with Mr. Liu about the goals and objectives of the Internet Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy. In addition, participants discussed: whether a domain name was primarily a trademark or a mere address; "best practices" in keeping domain names registrations in tact; whether it was advisable to secure trademark protection for the top level domain (e.g. ""); and various approaches in dealing with "cybersquatters." Ms. Harbottle and Mr. Gu commented on these issues from a U.S. practitioner's perspective. Loke Khoon Tan offered his opinion from a Hong Kong practitioner's perspective.

The Shanghai Roundtable was held as part of INTA's China Recruitment Project. Based on the overall success of the Shanghai Roundtable, there are plans underway to host a series of Roundtables in this region in early 2001.

Special thanks go to Laura Young and Michelle Harbottle for planning the event.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items carried in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.