[CWG-Stewardship] ICG request concerning IANA trademark and iana.org domain name

Mwendwa Kivuva Kivuva at transworldafrica.com
Tue Jun 23 15:40:46 UTC 2015

On 22 June 2015 at 17:21, Andrew Sullivan <ajs at anvilwalrusden.com> wrote:

> Hi,
> On Mon, Jun 22, 2015 at 11:33:56AM -0300, Andrew Sullivan wrote:
> >
> > For whatever it's worth, Jari and I (with our IETF and IAB hats on)
> > asked the IAOC to ask the IETF's counsel for his view (this is within
> > Jorge's area of specialization).  I've asked him to review some of the
> > discussion on the list as well.  I observe that one of the things the
> > Trust does is hold the marks for the IETF.
> Jorge got back to us already, and he had some observations.  I'll
> summarise.
> He observed that there should be no legal impediment to the IETF Trust
> holding the mark.  The IETF Trust could hold the mark and license it
> as appropriate to all the relevant entities, in much the way that
> Disney licenses marks for (e.g.) clothes or toys, neither of which
> Disney makes itself.
> He also observed that there might be questions about the Trust's
> ability to manage a mark, but noted that the IETF Trust has been doing
> as much for some time for other marks it holds.  Assuming the Trust is
> prepared to take on the burden, there's no reason to suppose it
> couldn't manage the mark.
> So, it seems to me we have at least one lawyer who thinks there would
> not be a legal impediment to undertaking this, at least in respect of
> trademark law.  (I think the use of the iana.org domain name is less
> problematic, since there surely couldn't be a legal impediment to any
> organization acting as registrant there.  At least, I hope we all
> agree about that.)  I observe that the IETF Trust (and the IETF
> itself) has not expressed a preference for the disposition of the
> trademark or domain name, though it has expressed its willingness to
> hold them if that is useful.
> Finally, I will point out something that was posted to another mailing
> list.  In a message to ianaplan at ietf.org, Bob Hinden pointed out that
> the IETF Trust's charter extends past IETF materials.  Article II of
> the Trust Agreement says this:
>     Such purposes include, but are not limited to, the advancement of
>     education and public interest by acquiring, holding, maintaining
>     and licensing certain existing and future intellectual property
>     and other property used in connection with the Internet standards
>     process and its administration, for the advancement of the science
>     and technology associated with the Internet and related
>     technology.
> Bob argues that the operation of IANA lands pretty squarely in the
> scope of, "[A]dvancement of the science and technology associated with
> the Internet," so the Trust might well therefore be an appropriate
> place.
> Therefore, it seems to me that the question of whether the trademark
> and the domain name _can_ be moved may be answered in the affirmative.
> In addition, it seems to me that the question of whether the trademark
> and domain name _should_ me moved could be answered in the affirmative
> too.
> Best regards,
> A (speaking only for myself, as ever)

Thank you Andrew. This is very important information, especially on the
Charter of the IETF Trust.


Mwendwa Kivuva, Nairobi, Kenya

"There are some men who lift the age they inhabit, till all men walk on
higher ground in that lifetime." - Maxwell Anderson
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