U.S. IP Strategic Plan Cites ICANN Role – Contemplates URS “Course Corrections” and Monitoring of New RAA Compliance
The White House has just released the “2013 JOINT STRATEGIC PLAN ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ENFORCEMENT” issued by the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC), and ICANN efforts are discussed at some length. The Report makes clear that U.S. activities within ICANN are regarded as an integral part of the government’s overall strategic efforts against IP infringement.
ICA has been informed by ICANN Staff that the Working Group (WG) on the Locking of a Domain Name Subject to UDRP Proceedings appears to have settled on a recommendation that domain name registrants who are Respondents in a UDRP proceeding be granted an automatic right to request and be granted a four day extension of the deadline for filing their response. This would be the first increase in UDRP response time since the Policy was established.
The Internet Commerce Association (ICA) has endorsed and suggested additional improvements to the alternate statement of Registrants’ Rights and Responsibilities (RRR) proposed by ICANN’s Non-Commercial Stakeholders Group (NCSG). ICA’s comment was filed in regard to the “Proposed Final 2013 RAA” (Registrar Accreditation Agreement); the RRR is one component of the RAA and all ICANN-accredited registrars will be required to link to it for the informational benefit of their customers.
The Arab Center for Dispute Resolution (ACDR) has been approved as a UDRP provider by ICANN’s Board of Directors. However, the language of the Board resolution of approval leaves unresolved the critically important issue of whether all UDRP providers will be placed under a standard and enforceable contractual agreement.
Responding to questions posed by ICA Counsel Philip Corwin at the Public Forum in Beijing, ICANN is now on the record that it is developing a standard contract for all providers of the new Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) rights protection mechanism (RPM) for new gTLDs, and that more URS providers will be selected. This action sets a strong precedent for ICA’s long sought goal of placing UDRP providers under a standard contract.
NCSG Cites ICA in Request for ICANN Board Reconsideration of TMC Claims “Trademark + Fifty” Decision
On April 19, 2013 ICANN’s Non-Commercial Stakeholders Group (NCSG) filed a formal Request for Reconsideration with ICANN’s Board Governance Committee to review a unilateral staff decision to expand the scope of the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMC) claims service for new gTLDs.
ICA just told ICANN that we strongly oppose an Initial Report that proposes to effectively reduce the time that a registrant has to respond to a UDRP by up to one-third.
On the afternoon of Tuesday, April 9th, during ICANN’s 46th Public Meeting currently taking place in Beijing, China, ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade announced that, following 20 months of negotiations, “agreement in principle” had been reached on a new version of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) to be put into effect immediately for all new and incumbent registrars that wish to sell domain registrations in new gTLDs – and that will eventually be put in place with all other registrars as their current agreements expire.
Several weeks ago, ICA intervened with ICANN’s Board to request that the revised application of the Arab Center for Dispute Resolution (ACDR) be withdrawn from its Consent Agenda and put out for public comment. (see http://internetcommerce.org/ACDR_UDRP).
ICANN’s institutional memory seems to be slipping, and that concerns us.