Friday, November 13, 2009

Suggestions for Protocols

In the previous post, the suggestion was made that trademark owners should treat the introduction of IDNs as a test run for the implementation of new gTLDs, which resulted in a couple of e-mails seeking suggestions as to what such protocols might entail.

New gTLDs are somewhat more complicated, but IDNs are similar to ccTLDs with regard to factors to consider in registration.

Do you have a trademark registration in the relevant country?
Do you conduct significant business in that country?
Is the country a likely prospect for expansion?
What would be your likely response if your trademark was registered as a domain name by a third party?

These are some of the questions trademark owners need to be considering as the introduction of IDNs comes closer to reality. The implementation of new gTLDs may be delayed, but new gTLDs are inevitable. The sooner trademark owners begin asking the above-referenced questions, the less painful the ultimate roll out will be.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Trial Run for Trademark Owners

Last week, the most-recent ICANN meeting concluded in Seoul, South Korea with a meeting of the ICANN Board, in which the Board approved the introduction of non-Latin character domains ("internationalized domain names" or "IDNs"). New IDNs could result in new country-code top-level domains ("ccTLDs") in scripts such as Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Hindi, Japanese and/or Korean as early as mid-2010.

Moreover, during the Seoul meetings, ICANN made clear that the introduction of new generic top-level domains would be delayed beyond the first quarter of 2010, as delineated in ICANN's initial ambitious time line.

Many trademark owners were legitimately concerned with the possibility of ICANN introducing en masse up to 500 new top-level domains concurrently. While the implementation of new top-level domains now appears inevitable, the introduction of IDNs offers trademark owners a unique test case for the development and implementation of processes by which the trademark owner can determine whether to register domain names in new top-level domains.

In anticipation of the introduction of IDNs, trademark owners should now be developing such processes to treat the initial implementation as a trial run for the introduction of new generic top-level domains.