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[comments-wgb] Sunrise Plus twenty proposal
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On behalf of the Christian & Barton, LLP law firm in Richmond,
Virginia, I would like to add our voices to support for the general
principles represented by the INTA "Sunrise Plus Twenty" proposal. We
believe that there clearly needs to be an opportunity for the owners of
existing trademarks to have a window of opportunity to take advantage of
reserving that mark as part of a new TLD.
However, we would suggest that the "Sunrise Plus twenty" proposal
as presently drafted does not go far enough to protect the owners of valid
trademarks. The "Sunrise Plus twenty" proposal only protects trademark
owners who have had national registrations for at least one year prior to
the opening of the new TLD, in order to prevent abuse by means of one-day
registrations. While this goal is laudable, the one-year requirement seems
excessive, and may discriminate against trademark owners in jurisdictions
where registrations can be a lengthy process. A better alternative would be
to offer several alternative tests of 1)shortening the one-year national
registration requirement to six months, 2) providing that if an aplication
for national registration has been filed longer than six months prior to the
TLD opening date, but not yet finally disposed of , that the applicant may
participate in the "Sunrise Plus Twenty" plan, subject to loss of the domain
names if national registration is finally denied. and 3) providing that
applicants who allege use of a trademark prior to January 1, 2000 and
continuously thereafter, may participate.
We applaud any efforts to recognize the priority rights of existing
trademark owners, and while we believe that the "Sunrise plus Twenty"
program could well be expanded as noted above, without thise changes we
still endorse it as areasonable compromise.
Peter E. Broadbent, Jr.
Chairman, Intellectual Property Group
Christian & Barton, LLP