The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is seeking community input on the Initial Report from the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Policy Development Process (PDP) Working Group (WG) that is evaluating the access of international governmental organisations (IGOs) and international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) to curative rights protection mechanisms in the context of generic top-level domains (gTLDs).
The PDP was initiated by the GNSO in June 2014, and the WG started its activity in August 2014, with a view to consider the specific needs and circumstances of IGOs and INGOs: (1) the curative rights protection mechanisms currently in place for both existing and new generic top level domains (gTLDs) should be amended and, if so, in what respects; or (2) a separate, narrowly-tailored dispute resolution procedure modeled on the existing curative rights protection mechanisms should be developed.
In its Initial Report, the WG outlines five key recommendations:
- That no changes to the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) and the Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS) be made, and no specific new process be created for INGO.
- For IGOs, in order to demonstrate standing to file a complaint under the UDRP and URS, it should be sufficient (as an alternative to and separately from an IGO holding trademark rights in its name and/or acronym) to demonstrate that it has complied with the requisite communication and notification procedure in accordance with Article 6ter of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.
- The WG does not recommend any specific changes to the substantive grounds under the UDRP or URS upon which a complainant may file and succeed on a claim against a respondent.
- In relation to the issue of jurisdictional immunity, which IGOs (but not INGOs) may claim successfully in certain circumstances, the WG recommends that: (a) no change be made to the Mutual Jurisdiction clause of the UDRP and URS; (b) the Policy Guidance document also include a section that outlines the various procedural filing options available to IGOs, e.g. they have the ability to elect to have a complaint filed under the UDRP and/or URS on their behalf by an assignee, agent or licensee; such that (c) claims of jurisdictional immunity made by an IGO in respect of a particular jurisdiction will be determined by the applicable laws of that jurisdiction.
- In respect of advice from the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) concerning access to curative rights processes for IGOs, the Working Group recommends that ICANN investigate the feasibility of providing IGOs and INGOs with access to the UDRP and URS (in line with the recommendations for accompanying Policy Guidance as noted in this report), at no or nominal cost, in accordance with GAC advice on the subject.
Following review of public comments received on this report, the WG will update the Report as appropriate to reflect public comment. The Final Report will be submitted to the GNSO Council for its consideration.
To contribute to the consultation, visit the dedicated webpage.