November 15, 2002
VIA EMAIL (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mr. Louis Touton
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
4676 Admiralty Way, Suite 330
Marina del Rey, CA 90292-6601
RE: .pro DNR Proposal
As we have previously discussed, RegistryPro would like to offer defensive
name registrations (DNR) for the .pro top-level domain (TLD) in addition
to the sunrise and domain name registration services already provided
for in our registry agreement with ICANN (the “Registry Agreement”).
The DNR service we are proposing is based on the offering made available
by the Global Name Registry for .name. Under the .pro DNR, owners of registered
trademarks and service marks and professional registrants would be able
to register a (non-resolving) .pro domain name defensively. In addition,
professionals qualified to register names within established profession-specific
second-level domains (PS-SLDs) would be able to register (non-resolving)
.pro domain names defensively, even if domain-name registrations are not
yet available for their jurisdiction because a verification method has
not yet been established. I note that neither the .name nor .coop DNR
programs have been the subject of controversy. To the contrary: these
programs are designed to smooth the launch of new TLDs and uphold the
security of the DNS by avoiding unnecessary disputes.
We would like to offer intellectual property DNR concurrently with the
sunrise registration period, and the standard DNR service concurrently
with live registration. Both varieties of DNR will be offered at a price
high enough to discourage frivolous DNRs, but low enough to not be cost-prohibitive
for legitimate applicants. Indeed, the pricing structure proposed is significantly
less than the proposed maximum pricing approved by ICANN for .name. I
describe both services below.
The .pro top-level domain (TLD) is a restricted domain, open to registrants
meeting registration qualifications as specified in Appendix L of the
Registry Agreement. As currently contemplated, RegistryPro will implement
a registration period during which registered trademark owners may register
their marks as domain names in order to allow them to protect their intellectual
property (“Sunrise Period”). Registrants during the Sunrise
Period will be required to provide qualifying trademark information (see
Subsection 3.2.1 of Appendix J) as well as information necessary to verify
that they meet the registration qualifications. Hence, the Sunrise Period
is designed to protect the rights of intellectual property owners who
qualify for .pro domain names.
RegistryPro would like to provide a DNR service to (i) trademark owners
who do not meet the .pro sunrise qualifications because they do not qualify
as eligible .pro registrants but would like to prevent confusion by protecting
their trademarks and (ii) professional registrants who possess the qualifications
to register within an established PS-SLD, but are not necessarily based
in countries in which a verification mechanism has been established. In
both cases, RegistryPro seeks to offer the DNR product to preserve the
integrity of the .pro TLD and avoid unnecessary disputes. Of course, like
the defensive name registrations offered under the .name and .coop TLDs,
no DNR will resolve in the DNS.
1. Proposed DNR Service Offerings:
The proposed service would offer three types of DNRs depending upon
the needs of the registrant.
(1) Premium Intellectual Property DNR. This product would be
available for trademark owners looking to entirely block an exact trademark
or service mark across all profession-specific PS-SLDs. For example,
owners of distinctive marks may seek to protect their trademarks within
all of <trademark>.law.pro, <trademark>.med.pro, <trademark>.cpa.pro,
and the other established variants of these.
(2) Basic Intellectual Property DNR. This product is designed
to block exact trademarks from an individual PS-SLD (e.g. .med.pro,
(3) Standard DNR. This product is designed to permit potential
registrants, located in any jurisdiction (even if no verification mechanism
(required for the issuance of a .pro name) has yet been established),
to register a .pro name defensively. (As you know, the Registry will
initially provide such verification services in a limited number of
countries during the initial launch during the first quarter of 2003.
Additionally, some local registrars are also in discussions with the
Registry to establish local mechanisms.) For example, if a Japanese
company would like to protect a domain name that it may seek to register
for use when .pro domains become available in Japan, the company may
seek a DNR in the interim. A DNR could therefore later be converted
to a live name when the appropriate local verification mechanism is
established by RegistryPro (in consultation with its Advisory Board)
and the registrant provides all necessary information to satisfy that
local verification regime (e.g. www.bengoshigroup.law.pro).
2. Effect of a DNR:
DNRs will not resolve within the DNS. The goal in offering the product
is to permit IP owners or potentially-qualified registrants who are
based outside of the initial launch to protect their marks or reserve
an appropriate name and block others from using them. While a Premium
Intellectual Property DNR would enable a mark owner to block an exact
registration across all PS-SLDs, both the Basic Intellectual Property
DNR and Standard DNRs will permit a Domain Name Registration that uses
the same string or mark in a different PS-SLD.
Thus, for example, a Premium DNR for kodak.<any ps-sld>.pro
will prevent a third party from registering kodak.med.pro or kodak.law.pro.
While a Basic Intellectual Property DNR or Standard DNR for kodak.law.pro
will not prevent a third party from registering kodak.med.pro.
RegistryPro proposes providing a term of four (4) years for DNRs. DNRs
will prevent only Domain Name Registrations that consist of the identical
string at the corresponding level. Domain Name Registrations that only
partially match a DNR will not be prevented.
3. DNRs Eligibility Requirements:
Premium Intellectual Property and Basic Intellectual Property DNRs
(collectively “IP DNRs”) will only be permitted for strings
that are identical to the textual or word elements, using ASCII characters
only, of valid and enforceable trademark or service mark registrations
having national effect and that issued prior to September 30, 2002.
All IP DNRs will be subject to the same character and formatting restrictions
that apply to all registrations in the Registry TLD. If a trademark
or service mark registration incorporates design elements, only the
ASCII character portion of that mark may qualify to be a DNR. Only the
owner of such a trademark or service mark registration may register
a DNR on that trademark or service mark. Trademark or service mark registrations
from the supplemental or equivalent registry of any country, or from
individual states or provinces of a nation, will not be accepted.
Where there is a space between the textual elements of a registered
mark, the registrant (an "Intellectual Property Defensive Registrant")
may elect at its discretion to replace the space with a hyphen or combine
the elements together to form a continuous string. Where there are multiple
spaces between three or more textual elements of a registered mark,
the foregoing sentence applies to each such space.
Thus, for example, the registered mark "Sample Mark" could
be registered as either or both of the following:
Each such DNR would be subject to a separate DNR fee.
Thus, an Intellectual Property Defensive Registrant must provide: (1)
the name, in ASCII characters, of the trademark or service mark being
registered; (2) the date the registration issued; (3) the country of
registration; and (4) the registration number or other comparable identifier
used by the registration authority.
In the case of Standard DNRs, registrants will be required to provide
the information that would be necessary to otherwise register for a
.pro domain name. Thus, Standard Defensive Registrants will be required
to provide information that establishes that he/she/it is qualified
to register for a .pro (e.g., the individual is appropriately licensed
or accredited in a profession that is served by one of the .pro PS-SLDs).
For example, even if an authentication and verification method that
meets the requirements of the .pro domain has not yet been established
in Japan, a Japanese lawyer could register a .pro domain name defensively
through the Standard DNR service. The registrant would provide information
relevant to his or her identity and profession (e.g., including licensing
information) in the event there is a challenge to the individual’s
right to register defensively, but the information would not be verified
at the time of registration. Standard DNRs would not resolve on the
DNS unless and until the registrant has been verified to meet all relevant
.pro eligibility requirements (set forth in Appendix L, as amended in
accordance with the .pro Registry Agreement) and converts the DNR to
a domain-name registration.
4. Other DNR Requirements:
Neither the Registry Operator nor the ICANN-Accredited Registrars will
review the information provided by the Defensive Registrant prior to
issuing a DNR. DNRs may not be transferred, except in connection with
a transfer of the underlying trademark or service mark registration.
However, a Basic Intellectual Property DNR or a Standard DNR may be
converted later to a .pro domain name that resolves within the DNS by
the registrant in the event that such registrant provides qualifying
eligibility information to register a .pro domain name, pays a registration
fee and is approved using either (1) an automated verification service
that is compliant with all established registration policies or (2)
a manual process that meets all of the Registry Agreement requirements
to approve registrant eligibility.
Each Defensive Registrant will be required to provide contact information,
including: name, e-mail address, postal address, and telephone number,
for use in disputes relating to the DNR. This contact information will
be provided as part of the Whois record for the DNR.
However, a DNR will not be granted if it (a) fails to meet the format
requirements for domain names within .pro, (b) conflicts with a then-existing
Domain Name Registration, or (c) conflicts with a then-existing DNR.
Thus, for example, if the domain name disney.law.pro has already
been registered, then neither a Premium Intellectual Property DNR
for “Disney” nor a Basic Intellectual Property DNR for
Disney.law.pro may be registered. Alternatively, if a domain name
has been registered in one PS-SLD, a Defensive Registrant may register
Basic Intellectual Property DNRs to block registrations of the mark
in other existing PS-SLDs. Thus, if ford.med.pro has been registered,
a trademark owner may seek to register Basic Intellectual Property
DNRs for ford.law.pro and ford.cpa.pro.
5. Agreement of Defensive Registrant:
All DNRs will be granted pursuant to an electronic or paper registration
agreement with an ICANN-Accredited Registrar, in accordance with Appendix
F, in which the Defensive Registrant will be required to agree with
All DNRs will be subject to challenge pursuant to the Qualification
Challenge Procedures set forth in Appendix M.
Any registrar that seeks on behalf of its customer to register a domain
name registration that is the subject of a DNR will receive an electronic
notice that the domain name is blocked by a DNR. This notice will also
provide contact information for the Defensive Registrant(s). If the
person or entity wishes to pursue the domain name registration despite
the DNR, the person or entity will have the following options:
(1) seek consent directly from the Defensive Registrant, or
(2) challenge the DNR pursuant to the Qualification Challenge Procedures
set forth in Appendix M of the Registry Agreement.
6. Voluntary Cancellation or Consent by a Defensive
A DNR may be cancelled by the Defensive Registrant through the sponsoring
registrar at any time. The Registry Operator will not refund registration
fees in the event of such a cancellation.
The Defensive Registrant may consent to the registration of a domain
name that conflicts with such DNR, as follows:
(1) Upon receiving a request for consent from a person or entity
seeking to register a domain name registration that is the subject
of the DNR, the Defensive Registrant must grant or refuse such consent,
in writing, within five (5) calendar days.
(2) If a Defensive Registrant fails to either grant or refuse consent
as described in this Subsection within five (5) calendar days of receipt
of the request, the Defensive Registrant shall be deemed to have denied
consent to the domain name registration.
(3) Such consent must be transmitted to both the person or entity
seeking the domain name registration and to the ICANN-Accredited Registrar
that sponsors the DNR.
(4) The ICANN-Accredited Registrar shall notify Registry Operator
of such consent within three (3) days of receipt, using the appropriate
protocol as developed by Registry Operator.
(5) The Defensive Registrant may not accept any monetary or other
remuneration for such consent.
(6) If a Defensive Registrant consents to a domain name registration
when contacted, then (i) the person or entity seeking the domain name
registration may register the requested domain name registration (after
establishing that he/she/it meets the eligibility requirements for
a .pro domain name), (ii) if a Premium Intellectual Property DNR is
involved, it will continue in full force and effect, but otherwise
the DNR will be cancelled without refund.
The proposed maximum fee to be charged by the Registry Operator for
DNRs is as follows:
US $1,500 Per Premium DNR (four-year term)
US $1,000 Per Basic Intellectual Property DNR (four-year term)
US $1,000 Per Standard DNR (four-year term)
Thank you for your consideration of this proposal. I look forward to
the Board's prompt consideration of this requested amendment so that RegistryPro
will be able to offer the DNR at the time of our upcoming initial launch.
Given our planned launch in early 2003, we hope that the ICANN board can
appreciate that timing is of the essence with regard to gaining approval
of this proposal to ensure that we are able to address technical issues,
work with registrars and educate the user community.
Director of Policy and Legal Affairs
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