The All New gTLDs
ICANN set out a system of response to the applications made for new gTLDs, known as “Comments, Objections & Program Feedback”. The aspect that can assist you with your trademark protection efforts is the application objections process (open until March 2013), where providing you have standing and go through the approved dispute resolution service, you can object to an application for a new gTLD on 4 main grounds:
It is this last one that holds the key to trademark protection and we’ll go on to explore what is meant by a legal rights objection and more importantly how to use one to protect your brand at the gTLD level.
A legal rights objection is one where “the applied-for gTLD string violates the legal rights of the objector” (ICANN) and is overseen by WIPO (the World Intellectual Property Organisation).
They outline the procedure as an assessment of the evidence by an independent, external and neutral expert or experts (assessment can be conducted by one or three people). The purpose of the assessment is to determine whether the applicant’s potential use of the applied-for gTLD would be likely to infringe the objector’s existing trademark, or IGO name or acronym.
Key facts about launching a legal rights objection:
For each objection filed, you must include your full name and current contact information as the objector plus a statement illustrating why you believe you meet the standing requirements (refer to the link earlier explaining standing).
You will then go on to describe the basis of your objection to the gTLD application, detailing the grounds for your objection and a full and detailed explanation of why you think your objection is valid.
Do be careful to distinguish between the two, grounds for objecting are the general principles on which you object whereas the validating statements relate specifically to the facts and evidence pertaining to your particular situation.
Make sure you include clear copies of any documents that support or provide evidence for your objection. Lastly objections are limited to 5000 words or 20 pages (whichever is less); so you’ll need to make sure your wording in concise as well as being suitable for legal documentation.
Did you know that just over 50% of lawyers are in private practice? The remainder are spread throughout government, industry, judicial clerkships, and academia.
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If you`re reading this, then you`re one of the 2 billion plus people who use the Internet
As hundreds of new gTLDs are introduced in the not-too-distant future, a new era of opportunity
Trademark owners will be profoundly affected by the introduction of new generic top level domains.
It`s a whole new internet
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