Crowell & Moring is pleased to offer the following services for companies with an interest in ICANN's New gTLD Program. Our services include:
Assessing Applications and Developing An Intervention Strategy
We will review the list of applications and applicants, and analyze whether and how an application may affect the existing rights of a client, whether because of its brands, existing domain names and trademarks or for other reasons, including a consideration of the potential use of the requested TLD as described in the application. We will meet with the client to discuss our analysis and help develop a plan of action for consideration, including recommendations about how to object to or otherwise intervene against an offending application.
Defending Pending Applications
ICANN has developed an elaborate set of dispute resolution procedures for an aggrieved party, depending on the nature and scope of the particular objection.
We will work with applicants who are dealing with objections or potential objections to their applied-for strings. We will help develop a response strategy, given ICANN's different dispute resolution procedures and constituencies, and, if necessary, assert a defense to an objector's intervention.
Intervening Against Pending Applications, Negotiating with Applicants or Governments
Conversely, we can help clients prepare an objection (or take other appropriate intervening legal action), using ICANN's new gTLD framework, ICANN's general accountability processes, or the jurisdiction of other national or international fora. This includes non-applicant rights holders seeking to insure that their interests are not overlooked by ICANN. And this also includes consideration of the role of the world's governments in protecting the interest of its constituents. Short of taking formal legal action, we can also assist clients in negotiating with existing TLD applicants or registry operators to ensure a client’s business interests are advanced.
Negotiating and Implementing Contracts
ICANN has published a universal draft template registry agreement for all TLD applicants. Crowell & Moring can review that agreement in light of the practical and business realities of the TLD, negotiate with ICANN (when needed) or other related parties, and assist in the registry agreement implementation process which will include negotiation of additional contracts with third party service providers.
Coordinating TLD Policy Development
Crowell & Moring can assist clients in the selection, articulation, and implementation of policies for their registry, including, but not limited to, the eligibility requirements for domain name registrants and domain name registration in the new gTLD, use expectations, privacy interests, and security concerns, including how to prevent and deal with abuse.
Enforcing Rights holders Interests in the Newly Expanded Internet
In response to significant criticism regarding the increased opportunity for fraud and other abuse, ICANN is developing unique additional rights protection mechanisms to attempt to insulate rights holders from this additional exposure. Crowell & Moring can assist clients with taking advantage of these programs and enforce their rights in the expanded Internet space.
Monitoring ICANN Policy Initiatives and Developments
As has now been widely reported in the mainstream press, ICANN is a unique international organization with plenary control over one of the world’s most important resources: the Internet's Domain Name System. As a result, its work impacts virtually all users of the Internet, both corporate and individual. Crowell & Moring, as an industry veteran, can closely monitor the developments that are likely to impact a client's business – whether it's within the next day or the next year – and advise the client on how best to protect its interests in this ever changing landscape.