Purpose: The Preliminary Issue Report [PDF, 376 KB] is published for public comment to obtain community input on the issue of launching a GNSO Policy Development Process to Review all Rights Protection Mechanisms in all gTLDs.
Current Status: On 15 December 2011 the GNSO Council requested that 18 months after the launch of the New gTLD Program, ICANN staff prepare and publish a Issue Report on the state of all rights protection mechanisms implemented for both existing and new gTLDs, including but not limited to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) and the Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS). This Preliminary Issue Report is the result of that request.
Next Steps: Staff will review all comments and, based on the feedback, make amendments before forwarding the Final Issue Report to the GNSO Council for consideration.
Section I: Description and Explanation
If a PDP to review all the RPMs is launched, the previous 2011 collation of community comments concerning a possible review of the UDRP and the more recent compilation of feedback concerning provider and user experiences with the new RPMs collectively provide a useful list of issues through which the PDP can be framed and chartered. Because a potential PDP can result in changes to a longstanding ICANN Consensus Policy and possible uncertainty in the future operations of the UDRP or the new RPMs, and because there are other ongoing review efforts that may yield useful information for a PDP, staff has included in this Preliminary Issue Report a number of additional factors to be considered in deciding whether or not to initiate a PDP (see Section 4.2 of the Preliminary Issue Report). Staff has also suggested several ways in which the work of the PDP Working Group can be organized in order to facilitate an effective outcome.
Section II: Background
The question of who legally has rights to, or is the legitimate holder of, a domain name can be open to dispute. In relation to domain name disputes concerning the registration and use of legally protected trademarks, the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) is the longest standing alternative dispute resolution procedure. As a result of the New gTLD Program, several new rights protection mechanisms (RPMs) were developed to mitigate potential risks and costs to trademark rights holders that could arise in the expansion of the gTLD namespace: the Uniform Rapid Suspension Dispute Resolution Procedure (URS); the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) and the associated availability through the TMCH of Sunrise periods and the Trademark Claims notification service; and the Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedures (PDDRPs).
Prior to the launch of the New gTLD Program, on 3 October 2011 ICANN staff had published a Final Issue Report on the current state of the UDRP. The recommended course of action in that UDRP Report was not to initiate a PDP at the time, but to hold off launching any such PDP until after the new URS had been in operation for at least eighteen (18) months.
Subsequently, on 15 December 2011, the GNSO Council requested that ICANN staff prepare and publish a new Issue Report on the current state of all rights protection mechanisms implemented for both existing and new gTLDs, including but not limited to the UDRP and URS. This Preliminary Issue Report is being published for public comment as the result of that GNSO Council request.
Section III: Relevant Resources
- Final Issue Report: http://gnso.icann.org/en/issues/new-gtlds/rpm-final-issue-11jan16-en.pdf [PDF, 1.00 MB]
- Preliminary Issue Report: http://gnso.icann.org/en/issues/new-gtlds/rpm-prelim-issue-09oct15-en.pdf [PDF, 376 KB]
- GNSO Council resolution: http://gnso.icann.org/en/council/resolutions#20111215-1
- Current state of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy: Final Issue Report [PDF, 2.69 MB], October 2011
- Staff Paper on Rights Protection Mechanisms in the New gTLD Program: Revised Report [PDF, 2.5 MB], September 2015
- Metrics compiled on the new RPMs collected for the Competition, Consumer Trust and Consumer Choice Review: https://www.icann.org/resources/reviews/cct/metrics#rights%20protection%20mechanisms