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[comments-wipo] IPC proposal is not a global solution

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:

In the course of the Working Group B's efforts to reach consensus on what
protections should be afforded the holders of "famous" names, attention
has been drawn to a recent proposal of the Intellectual Property
constituency (IPC). The proposal, described in the DNSO Working Group B
Interim Report (April 17, 2000) would in effect grant all holders of
trademarks and service marks with the opportunity to participate in a
"sunrise" period before a new name is opened to the general public. This
stance would appear to sidestep many of the difficult issues under debate,
and it has found support in both the Registrar and Intellectual Property
constituencies. I am opposed to the proposal and urge members of the Names
Council to consider it with reservation and caution. While the proposal
would at first glance seem to be a straightforward and practical solution
to the issue of trademark protection during the test period for new names,
I would like to point out what I believe to be a significant point of

The proposal as described in the Interim Report would, if carried out,
introduce a tremendous bias towards U.S. and Western firms. Most holders
of U.S. trademarks are, not surprisingly, U.S. firms. The implementation
of the proposal or some close variant thereof would result in Western
firms' ending up with the lion's share of the good, commercially valuable
names, seriously disadvantaging non-U.S. businesses and interests. Such a
bias goes against the international spirit of the internet as envisioned
by Jon Postel, and it does not do justice to ICANN's ostensible role as a
global steward of the internet domain naming system. Thus, it is my
opinion that the Names Council must consider alternatives other than that
of a sunrise period for all trademark holders in order to forge a truly
global compromise to the issue of famous names protection.

Sincerely yours,

Mark A. Chen, Ph.D.