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Message from Michael Heltzer, Secretary of GNSO Intellectual Property Constituency, to Louis Touton

Subject: IPC Position on WIPO IGO Recommendation
Date: Thursday, 15 May 2003
From: Michael Heltzer
To: Louis Touton


Given that we only just recently returned from Amsterdam, the IPC was unable until now to develop a written position on the above topic. Please accept our apologies for the lateness of the submission.


Mike Heltzer
IPC Secretary

At the IPC Meeting on May 7 in Amsterdam, it was the consensus of the members present that the IPC oppose amending the UDRP to accommodate the recommendation that disputes relating to International Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs) should not be required to submit to the jurisdiction of national courts. This recommendation is contained in the February 21, 2003 letter from WIPO Assistant Director General Francis Gurry to ICANN Board Chairman Dr. Vint Cerf and then-ICANN President Dr. Stuart Lynn.

When the UDRP was in its initial drafting stages, the ICANN Board pointed out several areas of concern, including the need for general parity between the appeal rights of complainants and domain name holders. (ICANN Resolution No. 99.83, paragraph 4-Santiago, Chile August 26, 1999). In particular, it was noted that as drafted at that time, there would be some cases in which the domain-name holder would have no clear mechanism for seeking judicial review of a decision of an administrative panel canceling or transferring the domain name. As a result, the initial documents were revised to require that the complainant include in its complaint a statement submitting to jurisdiction for purposes of court review of administrative panel decisions in its favor.

Like ICANN, the IPC views the accessibility to a national court as one of the UDRP's basic underpinnings and a reason for its acceptance as a fair and reasonable dispute resolution procedure. The fact that parties can turn to a court of law serves as a safety valve on the authority of dispute resolution panelists, provides equity, safeguards essential rights of both parties, and properly ensures that the courts are the ones who are ultimately responsible for interpreting the law – both national and international alike.

The IPC appreciates consideration of its views.

Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."