February 8, 2013
The USA's ANA (Association of National Advertisers) has urged ICANN to enhance trademark protections before rolling out any new generic Top Level Domains (gTLD's).
The ANA and supporters want to see Limited Preventative Registrations (LPRs) implemented; which would allow trademark holders to prevent registration of their exact trademarks across all registries for a reasonable fee.
"Despite the serious concerns raised for over a year by the business community, the law enforcement community and consumer protection agencies, ICANN elevates process over substance and refuses to adequately address rights protections for either consumers or trademark owners," said Dan Jaffe, ANA Group Executive Vice President.
"It is way past time for ICANN to do the right thing and address these serious flaws with their gTLD program."
The ANA fears trademark holders would need to collectively spend billions in registering their marks under each new gTLD to prevent cybersquatting or fraudulent activities. Aside from the cost to business of the additional defensive registration burden; cyber-squatted domains could also confuse consumers and in some case put their personal information at risk.
Dozens of companies have told ICANN that the LPR is critically necessary says the ANA. Additionally, it wants to see " a WHOIS database that is reliable and accurate; a more functional Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) system; and a serious commitment from ICANN to diligently pursue wrongdoers."
The ANA has strongly opposed ICANN's gTLD program since it was first announced. In August 2011, it said "ICANN's program is an example of public policy gone awry" and predicted "potentially disastrous consequences if the program is implemented in January 2012, as planned."
The ANA has significant clout - its member companies number more than 400; representing a combined spend of over USD$250 billion annually in marketing communications and advertising.
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