How Does Internet Policy Affect Brands?

Whether as part of a domain name, on a website, or in a search, consumers use trademarks to identify and distinguish the origin, source, and authenticity of the products and services they seek on the Internet. The policies that shape how the Internet functions are critical to brand owners because these policies impact the means of communicating with consumers, enforcing trademark rights, and building consumer trust online.

Our Position

We are working to ensure that trademarks receive the same protection on the Internet as they do in the brick-and-mortar world, to enable consumers to make safe, reliable, and informed choices about the products and services they seek on the Internet. We are a leading voice for brand owners in the evolution of commerce in cyberspace, and are particularly interested in ensuring the proper oversight and management of the Internet’s domain name system.

As a founding member of the Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) of ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), we advance the importance of trademarks in the development of global domain name system policy. We support accessible, contactable, and accurate information directories (WHOIS databases) that identify the owners and administrators of domain names. We respect individual privacy and advocate for the correct balance and proportionate responses to requests for disclosure of information in order to respond to the multiplicity of harms that are experienced on the Internet. We advocate that the WHOIS rules being developed through the ICANN process provide effective and expeditious access to registrant data and aid in law enforcement and IP rights protection. We support a strong system of rights protection mechanisms and common sense approaches to the allocation of domain names to avoid consumer confusion. We participate in the global dialogue on how public, private, and civil-society interests work together to develop the rules and regulations that form the foundation for how the Internet works. Our position is that the concerns of brand owners and the consumers they protect should always be reflected in policies that are developed to ensure security, stability, access, and trust. We support strong policies for intellectual property enforcement on social media platforms and publish more than two dozen, regularly updated trademark policies for members to reference.

If you want to learn more about Internet Policy, contact Member Operations.