The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
has quickly gone from resurgent "Little Engine That
Could" to train wreck. Having just weathered an
embarrassing six-week delay in its gTLD application process, it
took ICANN less than a week to come off the rails again.
Over the past weekend, and just before its semi-annual meeting
in Prague, ICANN announced that it was suspending digital archery,
the "contest" by which it was to sequentially batch the
gTLD applications for evaluation and launch. Further, ICANN
made it clear during a press conference and meetings yesterday in
Prague that it is no longer even sure whether to batch the
applications and, if it does not, how it will organize the
process. In fact, high-level staff repeatedly solicited input
on these topics from the attending Internet community.
Prior to its June 23, 2012, announcement suspending the digital
archery process, ICANN had received significant criticism regarding
several aspects of the evaluation process, including a letter from
the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) questioning both digital
archery and batching. The June 17, 2012 letter also warned that GAC would
not follow the expected timeframes for the early warning and string
contentions and, in fact, would not be in a position to offer ICANN
"any advice on new gTLDs applications in 2012" - if at
all - and calling into question ICANN's prediction that the
first gTLDs could be live by early 2013. Only four days later
and just before announcing the suspension, ICANN announced the
resignation of its erstwhile New gTLD Program Director Michael
Salazar, and that Kurt Pritz, Senior Vice President for Stakeholder
Relations, as interim Program Director, would take over
"direct oversight of the entire New Generic Top-level Domain
Program in an interim capacity."
The timing and substance of ICANN's suspension of the
digital archery process reveal the magnitude of ICANN's
predicament. On the date of the announcement, the digital
archery system had already been open for 15 days, since June 8,
2012, and was set to close on June 28, 2012. At that time,
approximately 20 percent of 1930 applications had already
entered. While ICANN blamed the suspension on technical
issues ("applicants have reported that the timestamp system
returns unexpected results depending on circumstances"), the -
problems inherent in relying on a computerized program to
prioritize the applications seemed apparent to observers from the
moment ICANN announced the process.
Response at the Prague meetings has been intense. Many
applicants and country representatives expressed their approval of
the suspension and re-iterated concerns about equity and fairness
should the program be re-instated. Few supported reinstating
The future of the batching has also been called into question,
with applicants at various meetings in Prague advocating for a
single-batch process. ICANN has stated that it "does not
necessarily disagree" with the call for one batch, but will be
considering a variety of proposals over the next few days to
address concerns that the process is manageable and
efficient. Removing contentious applications, ICANN believes
it will need to evaluate about 1400 applications in
total. During a call held on June, 25, 2012, a
representative from ICANN explained that certain naturally
occurring rate limiting mechanisms will make it unlikely that all
1400 applications will be processed at once if the batching process
is eliminated (e.g., some applications will be subject to
clarifying questions or extended evaluations, some applicants will
seek to negotiate the requisite contract, some applicants will
decide to delay their domain's launch - called
delegation). The question ICANN will be addressing over the
next few days is whether this natural rate limiting will be enough
to allow for an efficient process, or whether ICANN needs to
implement batching or some other technique to further limit the
rate at which applications move through the evaluation process.
Should some form of batching still be needed, some meeting
participants have suggested dividing applications into two batches
by merit: an easy pass for those that applications that pass the
evaluation as is and a second batch for all that raise
questions. Within the second batch, applications with fewer
questions/issues will be prioritized over those that require a more
in-depth review. Others have advocated for leaving the
batching process to the market by allowing applicants to buy/sell
their positions, while others advocate for leaving the batching
process to the applicants to prioritize among their multiple
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
As is well known, patent trolls often threaten dozens of alleged infringers in the hope of scoring quick license fees from those who understandably prefer to provide a modest payoff, thereby avoiding expensive and protracted litigation.
In order to best protect the IP rights of a U.S. company seeking to produce goods through a Chinese manufacturer by providing a protected design, the U.S. company needs to take actions even before the contracting stages.
On November 12, 2012, the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of issued the Draft Rules on Inventor-Employee Inventions for public comment, and this article seeks to reconcile the different provisions between the Implementing Rules and the Draft Rules.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a summary judgment ruling in favor of seven film studios finding that the defendant induced third parties to download infringing copies of the plaintiffs’ copyrighted works.