If there is one theme emanating from the current ICANN meeting in Singapore, it is the friction between the Government Advisory Committee (GAC) and other stakeholders. While the GAC may not be on the radar of many trademark counsel, the president of the International Trademark Association has warned that its role in the ICANN structure is something brands cannot afford to ignore.
Concerns over the GAC’s role were also voiced at today’s meeting of the Intellectual Property Constituency in Singapore when discussion turned to the treatment of geographic names. As we reported previously, conflict over geographic name protection has already impacted gTLD applications from Amazon and US clothing company Patagonia, and tomorrow the GAC’s working group on the protection of geographic names in new gTLDs will discuss the comments received on its background document on the issue. As we noted before, should protection of geographic names be strengthened as per the GAC proposals, the net will be significantly widened and could have a major impact on future applicants – including those who have not yet even considered running a ‘.brand’. Read more