ICANN working group report on TM rights protection mechanisms in all gTLDs now open for comment

Link to report and comment mechanisms. The Working Group did not recommend expanding trademark claimants’ preemptive/pre-registration notice rights to include broad matching or algorithmically generated close variants (misses a match by one letter, for example), but I expect that’s still on the agenda for some proponents. One of the things that we found out in the process was that the most-searched-for “trademarks,” of the set entered into the database maintained for the purpose of simplifying rights claims, were, in descending order: smart, forex, hotel, one, love, cloud, nyc, london, abc, luxury. That doesn’t make the database all junk, but it does highlight that new rights protection mechanisms are always also new pathways to abusive claims, and those tradeoffs should be confronted head-on rather than assumed not to exist. The fact that the database is secret doesn’t help (though much of its content could be inferred from registration attempts that receive claims notices).

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