State of the Net for the Week of September 15

Yvette Miller ⬥ 15 September

Today is the last day that ICANN is accepting comments on “Implementing Rights Protection Mechanisms in the Name Collision Mitigation Framework”. The final structure of the framework will help inform trademark owners’ digital strategy decisions in the coming months as they plan to protect and promote their brand names in new generic top-level domains (gTLDs).

“Name collision” refers to the unintended consequences that may occur when a new gTLD string matches an existing string on an internal network. In other words, as new gTLDs and second-level domains go live, they could “collide” with an exact match already in use within private networks. It’s an issue that ICANN and the Internet community have worked together to research and are attempting to address.

The latest ICANN-approved solution, as we previously covered, has allowed some new gTLDs to move ahead to launch after previously being held back due to name collision concerns. Part of that solution, though, requires new gTLDs that delegate after August 18 to institute a 90-day “controlled interruption” period during which any occurrences of name collision will be monitored. During that period, only NIC.TLD may be registered. Other names may be allocated but not activated. 

ICANN’s comment period on the application of Rights Protection Mechanisms in the Mitigation Framework is soliciting feedback on how new gTLDs that already delegated, but did not make blocked names available during Sunrise, should deal with the release of domain names that had previously been prohibited from registration under the old name collision framework. Many of these withheld domain names match trademarks. Now that gTLD operators can release these previously blocked names, trademark owners could find themselves at a significant disadvantage if those names were released to the general public immediately (instead of, for example, giving trademark owners a chance to register those domain names during a sunrise period).

FairWinds is filing its comments in support of the Registry Stakeholder Group (RySG), the Business Constituency (BC), and the Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) in their proposal on this matter: The proposal provides trademark owners with an exclusive chance to register domain names that match their trademarks before they are available to the public, without creating undue burden for gTLD Operators. In other words, it addresses the concerns of trademark owners without unreasonably stressing the resources of those who run the new .EXTENSIONS.

For Your Radar

September 18-19: INTA’s Internet conference in San Francisco

October 12 – 16: ICANN 51 in Los Angeles

October 29: Nine-Month Contracting Deadline for Applicants with CIRs

July 29, 2015: 18-Month Contracting Deadline for Applicants with CIRs that Request and are Granted the 9-month extension

Public Comment Periods to Consider:

September 15: Comment period closes on the Implementing Rights Protection Mechanisms in the Name Collision Mitigation Framework

September 27: Comment period closes on the Enhancing ICANN Accountability Process

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