[gnso-rpm-wg] TMCH review objectives

Steve Levy slevy at accentlawgroup.com
Fri Sep 23 15:40:44 UTC 2016

I’d also like to add my view that “protection” can take a number of different forms.  Stopping someone from infringing upon one’s trademark is the most obvious one but protecting brand owners from having their  trademarks held for ransom at an unreasonably high premium price is another.  If, for example, [brand].TLD is priced at US$50000 as a premium domain it effectively prevents the brand owner from purchasing that domain and the website remains either non-resolved or perhaps as a registry advertisement. The public may then see this site and mistakenly believe that the brand owner has either gone out of business or is not devoting sufficient resources to promoting its brand online.  Preventing this type of negative impact on the brand is another form of “protection”.



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From: <gnso-rpm-wg-bounces at icann.org<mailto:gnso-rpm-wg-bounces at icann.org>> on behalf of Phil Corwin <psc at vlaw-dc.com<mailto:psc at vlaw-dc.com>>
Date: Friday, September 23, 2016 at 11:39 AM
To: Rebecca Tushnet <rlt26 at law.georgetown.edu<mailto:rlt26 at law.georgetown.edu>>, "Silver, Bradley" <Bradley.Silver at timewarner.com<mailto:Bradley.Silver at timewarner.com>>, "gnso-rpm-wg at icann.org<mailto:gnso-rpm-wg at icann.org>" <gnso-rpm-wg at icann.org<mailto:gnso-rpm-wg at icann.org>>
Subject: Re: [gnso-rpm-wg] TMCH review objectives

I believe I just addressed that question in the email I posted – if unreasonably high sunrise pricing deters a rights holder from registering a  domain corresponding to a verified TM registered in the TMCH then it may be registered in the general availability period by an infringer, which in turn imposes a variety of costs on the TM owner (including those of bringing a subsequent URS, UDRP, or judicial action) and also creates the possibility of confusion and harm for the general public.

This is not to say that all Premium pricing is unreasonable, as it is generally recognized that certain words and terms have inherent additional value in the DNS context – it really requires a case by case analysis.

Philip S. Corwin, Founding Principal
Virtualaw LLC
1155 F Street, NW
Suite 1050
Washington, DC 20004

Twitter: @VlawDC

"Luck is the residue of design" -- Branch Rickey

From: gnso-rpm-wg-bounces at icann.org<mailto:gnso-rpm-wg-bounces at icann.org> [mailto:gnso-rpm-wg-bounces at icann.org] On Behalf Of Rebecca Tushnet
Sent: Friday, September 23, 2016 11:10 AM
To: Silver, Bradley; gnso-rpm-wg at icann.org<mailto:gnso-rpm-wg at icann.org>
Subject: Re: [gnso-rpm-wg] TMCH review objectives

TMCH’s goal of “protection” against what, though?  How does high pricing contribute to trademark infringement?  High pricing may deter purchases of domain names, no doubt, but with what result for the system overall?

Rebecca Tushnet
Georgetown Law
703 593 6759

From: Silver, Bradley [mailto:Bradley.Silver at timewarner.com]
Sent: Friday, September 23, 2016 11:00 AM
To: Rebecca Tushnet; gnso-rpm-wg at icann.org<mailto:gnso-rpm-wg at icann.org>
Subject: RE: TMCH review objectives

I would add that the question of pricing feeds into the concept of effectiveness, because if the TMCH is serving as a database for registries to target brand owners for higher pricing based on the value of their brands, then this is antithetical to the TMCH’s primary goal to provide protection for verified right holders.

From:gnso-rpm-wg-bounces at icann.org<mailto:gnso-rpm-wg-bounces at icann.org> [mailto:gnso-rpm-wg-bounces at icann.org] On Behalf Of Rebecca Tushnet
Sent: Friday, September 23, 2016 10:26 AM
To: gnso-rpm-wg at icann.org<mailto:gnso-rpm-wg at icann.org>
Subject: [gnso-rpm-wg] TMCH review objectives

Hello, all.  On the last WG call, concerns about pricing of domain names during the Sunrise Period arose. This led to a question of whether pricing is within the remit of this WG – and the broader question of what the purpose of our TMCH review is.  There seemed to be a desire to focus on the TMCH’s effectiveness. The predicate question, then, is: effectiveness at what?  Here are some suggestions for discussion: (1) minimizing the cost of operating the system for all concerned; (2) minimizing the number of actions that ultimately need to be brought against infringing registrants; (3) minimizing the number of noninfringing registrants whose legitimate uses are blocked or deterred.  If the system is reasonably balancing those objectives, I suggest, then it is effective; potential changes should be directly related to improving performance on one or more of these metrics without unduly hampering the others.

Rebecca Tushnet

Rebecca Tushnet
Georgetown Law
703 593 6759

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