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[wg-b] Roundtable on Famous Trademark Protection on the Internet

Title: Roundtable on Famous Trademark Protection on the Internet

Office of Advocacy

U.S. Small Business Administration

Roundtable Discussion

on the

Small Business Impact of Famous Trademark Protection on the Internet

The Office of Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration, is hosting a roundtable discussion on the impact on small business of a proposal to provide special protections on the Internet to famous trademarks.

The roundtable is scheduled for April 10 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the U.S. Small Business Administration's offices located at 409 Third St., S.W. Washington, D.C.  A summary of the proposal is listed below.  A full agenda of the roundtable will be released shortly.

For those interested in attending in person, directions for driving or using the Washington Metro system will be provided in a separate e-mail.

The Office of Advocacy will provide a teleconference bridge to those parties interested in small business e-commerce that cannot attend in person.  This service will be provided via a toll-free number and a local number for those in the Washington Metro area.  The number and passcode will be provided in a separate e-mail.

If you are interested in participating either by phone or in person, please notify Eric Menge at 202-205-6949 or at eric.menge@sba.gov.  Advocacy asks that all interested parties respond by close of business April 6.

* * * * *

Proposal for the Protection of Famous Marks on the Internet

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ("ICANN") has created a working group (designated Working Group B) to make recommendations on what protections should be given to famous marks on the Internet.  This working group is currently considering a proposal that would a limited "sunrise" period for those trademarks that are deemed famous.  To Advocacy's understanding the proposal contains the following elements:

(1)     The World Intellectual Property Organization ("WIPO") would create a famous mark list using the criteria below, which were put forth in its report on the subject last year:

(2)     Marks that are on the list would have the option of registering names during a "sunrise period" whenever a new general Top Level Domain ("gTLD") is added to the Internet.  The sunrise period would be a brief period of time before the new domain is available for the general public to register.

(3)     During this sunrise period, famous marks could register the domain name identical to the famous mark and either five or 10 variations of the famous mark.

(4)     The owner of the famous mark would have to pay for each registration.
(5)     Once registration is opened to the general public, famous marks do not receive any further benefit.  There would be no use of filters on domain name registrations.

(6)     Applicability of the sunrise period would be determined on a case-by-case basis.  Currently, those gTLDs designated for personal and non-commercial use would be exempt.

For more information on ICANN, please visit its home page at http://www.icann.org.  The archives of the discussion of Working Group are at http://www.dnso.org/listsdnso.html.  Advocacy's issue page on domain names is at http://www.sba.gov/is_dom.html.

Eric Menge
Office of Advocacy
U.S. Small Business Administration
(202) 205-6949; eric.menge@sba.gov