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Special Rights for IGOs and INGOs Could Lead To Registrant Rights Disappearing When It Comes to UDRP

Posted on the 08 May 2014 by Worldwide @thedomains

A slight change of one word could open the door for domain registrant rights to evaporate over time. Currently ICANN is looking at a Preliminary Issue Report on Access by IGOs (Inter Governmental Organization )and INGOs  (Inter Non Governmental Organization) to the Curative Rights Protections of the UDRP and URS. You can read all the comments here.

The Intellectual Property Constituency (“IPC”) of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (“GNSO”) would like to see the language changed when it comes to UDRP and URS disputes which involve an IGO or INGO.

They would like to see the  substitution of the word “or”instead of “and” in a “bad faith registration or use” element.

Two of the great champions of registrant rights, Nat Cohen and George Kirikos left excellent comments on why this should not be allowed.

Nat Cohen touched upon the common sense fact that there are many companies and organizations who have the same rights to a domain name using their acronym.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

I reiterate my statement that IGOs/INGOs are not entitled to any special
protections for their acronyms, as they have no greater claim to an acronym
than any of the hundreds or thousands of other legitimate users of those
acronyms.  This is an illegitimate attempt to create a special protected
class where none exists already and without any authority to do so.

The proposal to reserve commonly used acronyms for IGOs and INGOs in
established TLDs is a tremendous overreach by International Organizations.
In essence, the organizations are claiming all the IP rights to short
acronyms that are in widespread commercial use by a entities around the
globe.  These international organizations have no greater claim to these
acronyms than any other legitimate user.

International organizations have available for their use .int and .org
extensions that are associated with International Organizations and
non-profit organizations.  There is no need to seize turf on what is
traditionally the commercial internet of .com and .net by claiming
exclusive rights to acronym domains under these extensions.

Many of the organizations in the list of acronyms under consideration for
special protections are obscure and their acronyms are not well known to
the public.   There is no basis or justification to privilege the
interests of the Int’l Organizations over other users of these acronyms.
This is a strikingly misguided initiative that takes a well grounded
interest in avoiding confusing misuse of the names the world famous
organizations, the Red Cross and the Olympics, to launch a groundless
seizure of all domains associated with the acronyms for hundreds of
international organizations.

There is a very good reason why historically the protections afforded to
the Red Cross and the Olympics are restricted to these particular
organizations that are well known to hundreds of millions of people
worldwide.  The rationale for the special protections for these two
organizations does not extend to every obscure international organization
ever created, and certainly not to acronyms that these organizations share
with hundreds or thousands of other entities.

By way of example let us take a look at some of the acronyms used in the
text of the Overview of the Report and the use made of the dot-com domain
based on those acronyms- – maker of accessory chargers for travelers – an arts and cultural organization -  producer of gaming accessories – media storage company

This small example demonstrates that acronyms have many concurrent
legitimate uses.  IGOs can adequately protect their intellectual property
and reputations without adopting a policy that prevents the long-standing
and legitimate use of acronym domains by commercial users.

I write in favor of George Kirikos’ comment at

I further support the ICA’s comment at:

Respectfully submitted,

Nat Cohen
Telepathy, Inc.

George Kirikos touched upon how this could be used as a trojan horse down the road for other entities that are not IGO or INGO. I bolded this in the comment.

Submitted by: George Kirikos
Company: Leap of Faith Financial Services Inc.

First, I’d like to note that the “reply comment” submitted by the Intellectual
Property Constituency was late, i.e.  Tue, 6 May 2014 20:11:48 -0400 is
equivalent to Wednesday May 7, 2014 00:11:48 UTC, which is 11 minutes and 48
seconds past the deadline.

Their comments should *not* be considered (if their comment is considered by
ICANN, so should other “late” comments, including this one). In particular, the
IPC’s longstanding desire to change the UDRP and URS from one designed for the
“clear cut cases of abuse” by changing the “and” requirement to a lesser “or”
standard is obviously unacceptable, and against the public interest. The cases
of “or” are best left to the national court system, where full due process
exists (including cross-examination, discovery, etc.), not the UDRP/URS where
very limited evidence is presented under extreme time constraints.

It’s inconsistent for the IPC to simultaneously argue for a “narrow” focus of
any PDP (no PDP at all should take place, as we’ve argued in prior comments),
but then try to broaden that focus by reopening the “and” vs “or” debate.
Clearly they have an ulterior motive at work, namely trying to reopening the
“and” vs “or” requirement for non-IGO/INGO complainants, using the cases of
IGOs/INGOs as a “foot in the door” if that policy was developed in a haphazard
process focused on “speed” rather than a process focused on careful and
thoughtful consideration.


George Kirikos

It is easy to see where this headed, set a precedent on the and vs or with just the IGO and INGO in mind, and then slowly let it filter out into the mainstream where big companies are using it against domain investors etc…

You can read the full IPC comment here

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