As the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) gears up to begin delegating up to 1,000 new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) in six months’ time, brand owners are strategizing how to protect their brands in the journey toward the “Internet of the Future,” or at least they should be. While the applicant guidebook provides for some rights protection mechanisms (RPMs), some companies are concerned that these RPMs are inadequate and are pressing for greater protections. Whether ICANN agrees to supplement or change the existing routes available for brand protection, brand owners should be aware of and may need to implement brand protection strategies in either the pre-delegation and post-delegation phases (or both) in order to adequately safeguard their rights in the new gTLD expansion.
This article explores pre- and post-delegation RPMs that are available, as well as next steps in the gTLD process.
This article was first published in the November 13, 2012 edition of InsideCounsel.
Daniel D. Frohling is a partner in the Chicago office of Loeb & Loeb LLP, where he leads the firm’s gTLD Development and Response Team. Through and beyond the Team, he assists clients with developing, leveraging and protecting their marketing and IP assets through strategic planning and counseling, deal negotiation, and risk and dispute management. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jessica B. Lee is an associate in Loeb & Loeb’s New York office, where she litigates and counsels clients in the areas of trademark, copyright, false advertising, marketing and privacy law. She can be reached at email@example.com.