Brand Owners Seek Their Own ICANN Constituency Group

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By Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch

Brand owners that have applied with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for their brand’s top level domain (TLD) are seeking to create their own constituency group.

A third of the names applied for in the ongoing application process are brand TLDs, trademark lawyer Phil Sheppard said during a meeting with ICANN’s government constituency group, called the Government Advisory Committee (GAC).

The brand owners would like to get their own registry model, based on their special business model. As all second-level domains would be under the control of the brand owner, they hope for a more lightweight model, with a reduced set of obligations, because they are not open registries and therefore less prone to fraud.

They also want priority when it comes to negotiating registry contracts with ICANN. Many things in the ICANN registry contract would be superfluous for brand TLDs.

“We need a new registry agreement,” said Jay Scott Eveans, head of Global Brand Domains & Copyright at Yahoo! Inc. The Brand Registry Constituency would allow brand owners to have joint contract negotiations with ICANN.


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