[ga] Voice of the Public
The recently posted agenda for the 9 September Public Forum in Montevideo
includes the topic "
Issues and process for evaluation of new TLDs".
You may wish to take note of this comment posted to ICANN's off-topic forum
that raises some legitimate concerns:
"Greetings ICANN Community,
Following is the text of a news story I have written and attempted to publish
in the news media, but because Afilias has shut down their WHOIS service, the
facts cannot be verified at this time by the news publishers. Story follows:
The much anticipated launch of ".INFO", the first of seven new ICANN-approved
gTLDs to augment the availability of ".com" and ".net" domain names, got
underway on August 1st when Afilias (http://www.afilias.info) , the registrar
awarded management of the .info gTLD, began its "Sunrise" advance
registration for trademark-holders worldwide. The first round Sunrise
registrations were awarded by lottery among customer entries submitted
earlier through dozens of retail domain registrars, and the results were
posted late yesterday on the Afilias website (http://www.afilias.info)
through their WHOIS lookup.
But the .info launch is permeated with fraudulent registrations by trademark
imposters, and despite Afilias' preparations for the launch, no steps have
been taken to prevent trademark fraud by Sunrise registrants. According to
registration requirements posted on both the Afilias website
(http://www.afilias.info/faq/ip-owners.html) and the ICANN website
each Sunrise registration must be for a domain name exactly matching the
trademark name, registered in the national trademark registry of a recognized
country, registered before October 2, 2000. But the Sunrise registrations
for such notable domain names as "china.info", "japan.info",
"australia.info", "cruises.info", "rice.info" and "taxes.info" indicate
trademark names having no similarity to the domain name, and in one case the
trademark is simply "unknown".
Domain names such as "lasvegas.info" were registered with trademark numbers
that simply do not exist in the U.S. Trademark online database, strongly
indicating their questionable authenticity. Patrick Nobriga registered the
Sunrise domain names "Reno.info", "LosAngeles.info", "chicken.info" and
"beef.info" all using the same trademark number "137636599", which does not
exist in the U.S. Trademark online database. Patrick also successfully
registered the Sunrise domain name "news.info" using the trademark number
"123456789". Should we look that one up too?
Sunrise registrations such as "taxes.info", "Japan.info", and "China.info"
have trademark dates later than October 2, 2000 (the "taxes.info" trademark
submittal indicates a date just last week, July 27, 2001). Yet these domains
were accepted and processed in the Afilias Sunrise registration without
question."Employment.info" and "Hotels.info" were both registered using the
same Israel-issued trademark number 153278563 during the Sunrise period to
Cass Foster of Communigal Communications. Nice domain names; but which one,
if any, is the real Israeli trademark 153278563?And the enterprising Stephen
Rumney of World Information Services has entered authentic-looking Egyptian
trademark numbers for "Asia.info", "Jobs.info", "Loans.info", and
"Sports.info", but the trademark names are "asiainfo", "jobsinfo",
"loansinfo", and "sportsinfo" which should have resulted in the domain names
"AsiaInfo.info", "JobsInfo.info" etc.
Despite years of planning by ICANN, and months of contract negotiations
between ICANN and Afilias, extensive public relations by Afilias, and
extensive certification processes for .info authorized registrars, Afilias'
disregard for obviously fraudulent trademark submissions during the Sunrise
period has prevented tens of thousands of legitimate customers from competing
for non-trademarked domain names during the public registration periods that
will not open until September 2001. Now that these important domain names
have been fraudulently awarded during the Sunrise registration they are no
longer available for legitimate customers until after a lengthy and costly
"Sunrise Challenge" process or through legal action in the courts.
Perhaps disgruntled domain name customers could visit www.attorneys.info to
find an attorney who might file a class-action lawsuit, but...ooops! The
domain name "attorneys.info" was registered during the Sunrise period to
Gregory Carbonaro using U.S. Trademark No. 2469675, and according to the
U.S. Patent Office online database at http://www.uspto.gov the U.S. Trademark
2469675 was issued in July 2001 to the Dairy Farmers of America for a form of
dried skim milk trademarked "Savortex"; not "Attorneys".