In an interview in today’s San Francisco Chronicle (“Rod Beckstrom, CEO of ICANN, talks about new domain names“), the CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers stated that ICANN will create a global marks database to help protect trademark owners against cybersquatting.
The database will be developed in conjunction with ICANN’s forthcoming implementation new generic top-level domains (gTLDs). ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom is quoted in the Chron article as saying (emphasis added):
We have agreed to create a global marks database. By marks we mean trademarks and service marks. … If you get a document to show that you own the trademark or service mark, you get to put it into a global database. Once it’s in the system, you will be notified if anyone tries to register your name. That’s the first time in human history that a global marks database has been created to notify owners of events that could affect them.
This is great news for trademark owners. Historically, ICANN’s protection has resided in its Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy, which allows trademark owners to recover domain names from those who have registered them abusively, such as cybersquatters.
With the new database, trademark owners will be notified when a cybersquatter tries to register the domain – offering the owner of a mark an opportunity to prevent an infringement-related domain registration rather than pay to fix it after the fact.
Dana H. Shultz, Attorney at Law +1 510 547-0545 dana [at] danashultz [dot] com
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