Today, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has opened a Public Comment proceeding on preliminary policy recommendations on specific curative rights protections for international governmental organizations (IGOs).
Open for Submissions Date
Tuesday, 14 September 2021
Closed for Submissions Date
Sunday, 24 October 2021
Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO)
What We Need Your Input On
The Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) Team on Specific Curative Rights Protections for IGOs seeks input on its preliminary policy recommendations contained in its Initial Report.
The Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council tasked the EPDP-IGO team to consider "whether an appropriate policy solution can be developed that is generally consistent with the first four recommendations from the GNSO IGO-INGO Access to Curative Rights PDP and:
- Accounts for the possibility that an IGO may enjoy jurisdictional immunity in certain circumstances.
- Does not affect the right and ability of registrants to file judicial proceedings in a court of competent jurisdiction.
- Preserves registrants' rights to judicial review of an initial Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution (UDRP) Policy or Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) decision.
- Recognizes that the existence and scope of IGO jurisdictional immunity in any particular situation is a legal issue to be determined by a court of competent jurisdiction."
The GNSO Council had launched this work initially via a Work Track within the Rights Protection Mechanisms Policy Development Process (PDP) Working Group, which was then conducting a review of certain trademark-related rights protection mechanisms. That PDP Working Group has concluded its first phase of work. In August 2021, the GNSO Council took the procedural action to initiate an EPDP on Specific Curative Rights Protections for IGOs to enable IGO Work Track policy deliberations to continue without delay, with no change to the original scope of work or composition of the group.
In June 2014, the GNSO Council chartered the IGO-INGO Access to Curative Rights PDP to develop policy recommendations as to whether "to amend the UDRP and URS to allow access to and use of these mechanisms by IGOs and [International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs)] and, if so in what respects or whether a separate, narrowly-tailored dispute resolution procedure at the second level modeled on the UDRP and URS that takes into account the particular needs and specific circumstances of IGOs and INGOs should be developed." The PDP Working Group submitted its Final Report containing five recommendations to the GNSO Council in July 2018. Following several months of deliberations over the PDP recommendations, during which several GNSO councilors voiced concerns over the implications of Recommendation 5, the GNSO Council voted in April 2019 to approve the first four recommendations and to refer Recommendation 5 to the Review of All Rights Protection Mechanisms (RPM) PDP to consider during its Phase 2 work.
The GNSO Council approved an addendum to the RPM PDP charter in January 2020 to initiate the necessary policy work on Recommendation 5. The addendum reflects the outcomes of various discussions between the GNSO Council and the Governmental Advisory Committee ("GAC") as well as interested IGOs, during which the GAC and IGO representatives had indicated that they would be willing to participate in a targeted policy effort that focuses on the issue of curative rights for IGOs and drawing on the community's recent experiences with the Expedited PDP on the Temporary Specification for Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) Registration Data and Work Track 5 of the GNSO New gTLD Subsequent Procedures PDP.
In December 2020, following a call for Expressions of Interest to serve as the IGO Work Track Chair, the GNSO Council appointed former ICANN Board member Chris Disspain to the position. The GNSO Business Constituency, Intellectual Property Constituency, Internet Service Providers and Connectivity Providers Constituency, Noncommercial Stakeholder Group, At-Large Advisory Committee, the GAC, and interested IGOs all appointed members in accordance with the specific requirements in the addendum. The team began meeting in February 2021.
Following the completion of Phase 1 of the RPM PDP and pending the launch of Phase 2, the GNSO Council resolved to continue the IGO Work Track through an EPDP in August 2021. The GNSO Council emphasized that this decision was wholly procedural in nature and was intended to provide a process framework to maintain the momentum the IGO Work Track had displayed and to continue the same scope of work (via the new EPDP-IGO charter) as reflected in the original addendum that the GNSO Council had previously approved.
The EPDP-IGO Team believes that its Initial Report reflects its current thinking about the policy problem the GNSO Council tasked it to consider. Public Comment submissions on the Initial Report will assist the EPDP-IGO Team to complete its deliberations and finalize its recommendations.
The EPDP-IGO Team will analyze all Public Comment submissions and, if appropriate, update its preliminary policy recommendations accordingly. Its final policy recommendations will be submitted to the GNSO Council for its consideration and vote.