11 Jul 2017

As part of the Independent Review Process (a procedure mandated by ICANN bylaws) initiated by Amazon over ICANN’s decision to reject the company’s application for the .amazon new generic top-level domain (and its equivalents in Chinese and Japanese), an Independent Review Panel recommended that the ICANN Board re-evaluates Amazon’s application. The Panel determined that the ICANN Board acted in a manner inconsistent with ICANN bylaws, and that the Governmental Advisory Committee - GAC (whose objection to .amazon determined the Board to reject the application) ‘failed to allow the applicant to submit any information to the GAC and thus deprived the applicant of the minimal degree of procedural fairness before issuance of its advice’. According to the Panel, the ICANN Board ‘should make an objective and independent judgment regarding whether there are, in fact, well-founded , merits-based public policy reasons for denying Amazon’s applications’.

16 May 2017

The Arbitration and Mediation Centre of the World Intellectual Property Organisation will become an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) provider for the .eu and .ею top-level domains (TLDs), as of June 2017. As announced by EURid, the registry for the two TLDs, holders of a trademark, trade name, company name, or other rights will be able to use the services of the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Centre to dispute potentially speculative and abusive .eu and .ею domain name registrations The Centre becomes the second ADR provider, in addition to the current Czech Arbitration Court.

6 Sep 2016

G20 leaders convened for their annual summit on 4-5 September, in Hangzhou, China. The communique released at the end of the summit, as well as the adopted Blueprint on Innovative Growth, emphasise the role of the digital economy and the new industrial revolution (characterised by emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things, cloud computing, and virtual reality) as main contributors to a sustainable, balanced, and inclusive growth and development. In order to encourage sustainable progress in these two areas, G20 commits to a series of policies and actions covering several digital policy issues: bridging the digital divide; leveraging the opportunities and coping with the challenges brought by emerging technologies; fostering favourable conditions for achieving trust and security in the digital environment, while ensuring respect for privacy and personal data protection; protecting and enforcing intellectual property rights; improving training and skills for science, technology and innovation. For more details, read Diplo's blog post.


Knowledge and ideas are key resources in the global economy. The protection of knowledge and ideas, through IPR, has become one of the predominant issues in the Internet governance debate, and has a strong development-oriented component. Internet-related IPR include copyright, trademarks, and patents.

Trademarks are relevant to the Internet because of the registration of domain names. In the early phase of Internet development, the registration of domain names was based on a first come, first served basis. This led to cybersquatting, the practice of registering names of companies and selling them later at a higher price.


Mechanisms for the protection of trademarks


This situation compelled the business sector to place the question of the protection of trademarks at the centre of the reform of Internet governance, leading to the establishment of ICANN in 1998. In the White Paper on the creation of ICANN, the US government demanded that ICANN develop and implement a mechanism for the protection of trademarks in the field of domain names. Soon after its formation, ICANN introduced the WIPO‑developed Universal Dispute Resolution Procedure (UDRP).

The recent introduction of the new gTLDs reinvigorated the relevance of trademark for domain names, ICANN, and overall IG.

ICANN’s Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) authenticates information from rights holders and provides this information to registries and registrars.

The UDRP - the primary dispute resolution procedure - is stipulated in advance as a dispute resolution mechanism in all contracts involving the registration of gTLDs (e.g. .com, .edu, .org, .net), and for some ccTLDs. Its arbitration awards are applied directly through changes in the DNS without resorting to enforcement of trademark protection through national courts.




Internet Governance Acronym Glossary (2015)
An Introduction to Internet Governance (2014)


Competition in the Software Industry: the Interface between Antitrust and Intellectual Property Law (1999)


2016 Special 301 Report (2016)
Report of the Director General to the WIPO Assemblies (2015)

GIP event reports

GNSO Review of all Rights Protection Mechanisms (RPMs) in All gTLDs PDP Working Group Face-to-Face Meeting (2017)
ICANN58: GNSO-GAC Facilitated Dialogue on IGO & Red Cross Protections (Session 2) (2017)


Sessions at IGF 2016


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