ICANN Asks Singapore to Delay .sg TM Attempt
Date: Friday January 31 2003, @04:51AM
Topic: Country-Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs)

The Sinapore Business Times reports that Singapore's attempt to trademark .sg has run into a snag: ICANN has filed a request to delay the .sg trademark proceeding for two months. The article quotes ICANN Veep & General Counsel Louis Touton as saying, "In Icann's view, that application raises significant issues about the applicability of intellectual property principles to Internet top-level domains (TLDs), including country-code TLDs."

Is this ICANN's first-ever intervention into a domestic regulatory proceeding?

I certainly think ICANN has the right view of the merits in this case. But the issue of the domestic intellectual property regulation of a ccTLD -- however boneheaded -- seems like a domestic matter to me, and not obviously one requiring ICANN's intervention.

Oh well; the article says Touton is also referring the matter to the GAC, so at least ICANN's policy in this area will be made in an open, transparent and participatory manner. Yah, right.

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Unilateral action by ICANN's staff
by KarlAuerbach on Friday January 31 2003, @06:36AM (#11063)
User #3243 Info | http://www.cavebear.com/
As far as I can tell, this matter has not been raised before, much less discussed by, and even much less decided by the ICANN Board.

Nor do I recall this matter being discussed, much less decided by ICANN's primary policy body for DNS policies the now-renamed/split DNSO/gnSO/ccSO..

In ICANN the Board is supposed to be the focus of policy decisions, not "staff". Otherwise any system of accountability, whether it be the "reform" that ICANN is undergoing or something more in keeping with accountability to the public, is rendered into nothing more than a useless facade.
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Michael Got The Story Wrong
by jberryhill on Sunday February 02 2003, @12:32AM (#11076)
User #3013 Info
Unfortunately, the headline and the story both distort the reality here.

What ICANN has filed is a request for an extension of time to oppose the registration. They have not requested a "delay" in the proceedings, nor have they filed an opposition itself.

Under the trademark laws of many countries, trademark applications are published for a fixed period of time during which third parties may file an opposition. Many of these countries allow a potential opposer to file a request for an extension of time to file an opposition. Such a request is merely an indication that the party *might* file an opposition, and they may still be making up their mind.

Karl seems incensed that the Board wasn't consulted. Well that is the precise issue at hand here. In order to consider the issue and to consult with the appropriate folks may have otherwise allowed the opposition deadline to pass. I suppose if nothing had been done, we would have Karl complaining that the Board hadn't been consulted.

Filing this request for an extension to oppose is merely a mechanism to allow more time to make a decision. It is not a statement that a decision has been made. Acting in a manner consistent with keeping ICANN's legal options open as long as possible is the responsible and appropriate thing for ICANN management to do in the absence of any direction from the board or an identified consensus in the community.

The spectacle of ICANN - the handmaiden of IP expansionism - opposing an attempt of someone to claim IP is certainly amusing.

And, as always, if you enjoyed the trademark folks, just wait until the patent folks start showing up.
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