[ALAC] Meeting to discuss TMCH Implementation as well as possible changed to the TM protections

Titi Akinsanmi titi.akinsanmi at gmail.com
Sat Nov 17 07:18:49 UTC 2012

A hearty thank you Alan and Evan for going through the grueling calls on behalf of ALAC. 

Will go through report in detail. 


On 17 Nov 2012, at 7:10 AM, Alan Greenberg <alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca> wrote:

> Copy of a message sent to ALAC list
> ===================================
> As you are aware, a meeting was held in Brussels 
> several weeks ago to discuss implementation 
> issues for the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH). 
> The meeting included representatives of the GNSO 
> Stakeholder Groups and Constituencies, but not 
> At-Large. On Thursday and Friday of this week, a 
> follow-on meeting was held in Los Angeles. In 
> addition to a discussion of many of the technical 
> issues related to the TMCH, a full day was spend 
> discussing a list of issues that had been 
> presented to ICANN by the GNSO Business and 
> Intellectual Property Constituencies 
> (http://www.icann.org/en/news/correspondence/ncsg-to-icann-01nov12-en.pdf). 
> This time At-Large was represented (unfortunately 
> only remotely as no travel funding was provided). 
> I had the honour of participating along with Evan.
> The first day on the BC/IPC issues was both 
> interesting and productive. The intent was:
> 1. To fully understand what it was that the BC 
> and IPC were asking for. The original document 
> was not particularly clear, and in fact, the 
> BC/IPC have spent the weeks following Toronto fleshing out their ideas.
> 2. To understand whether these issues were in 
> fact just implementation (as the BC/IPC) 
> believed, or Policy, which should be addressed by 
> GNSO Policy processes. The issue has been much 
> discussed within ICANN, but the difference has 
> never been formally addressed before. Staff were 
> charged with starting to develop a methodology 
> for making such decisions in the future. Although 
> the work is still preliminary, it was used to 
> analyze the more controversial of the BC/IPC 
> proposals, and the outcome matched that of the 
> discussions within ALAC. They were all deemed to 
> be Policy and thus required GNSO action to 
> formally change the status quo (a relief to some 
> at the table, and troubling to others).
> 3. To brainstorm the issues raised by the BC/IPC 
> and see if any solutions could be found to 
> address the issues that concerned them which at 
> the same time might be acceptable to the other 
> stakeholders. After a rather harrowing day (12 
> solid hours, followed by another 2 hours on 
> Friday) the result was a strawman proposal. The 
> proposal completely pleased none of the people 
> involved, which some people say is a good measure 
> of a reasonable compromise. Regardless, it is a 
> good start for more traditional community-based 
> discussions which now have to happen.
> ALAC's first position was that we would prefer to 
> not have new policy changes in the new TLD 
> program at this late date. However we also did 
> look at the individual issues as discussed in a 
> message I sent earlier this week. The resultant 
> strawman proposal actually fits in moderately 
> well with the positions that ALAC took. Of 
> course, this is not yet a formal policy and there 
> are many details to be developed. This is perhaps 
> not surprising, as many of the ALAC positions to 
> protect innocent Internet users coincide well 
> with TM holders desire to prevent cyber-squatting 
> and fraud, and the over-reaching that some 
> attribute to TM holders (that is, wanting 
> protections far an above those granted by the TM 
> itself) were to some extent held in control.
> I have to note that this type of focus group is 
> not an unknown way to try to bridge widely 
> disparate positions, but it is a very uncommon 
> one in ICANN, and one that some people have said 
> violates the bottom up multi-stakeholder model of 
> ICANN. It does bear some similarity to the STI 
> group which many herald as one of the more 
> effective ICANN policy efforts. It also re-opened 
> issues that the community (well, part of the 
> community including At-Large) had thought or 
> hoped were closed issues. Whether it was an 
> effective move or not history will tell. One of 
> the measures that I have is how quickly we can 
> convene a more formal ICANN process to refine and 
> actually approve a policy coming out of this proposal.
> After Toronto, ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé had said 
> that he considers the TMCH to be a critical issue 
> and would personally oversee its implementation. 
> True to his word, he personally ran the 14 hours 
> of meetings. It was interesting!
> I will elaborate (as perhaps will Evan) more in 
> the coming days on some of the high and low 
> points of the meeting, but this will have to do 
> for the moment. Today I was on the call for over 
> 8 hours, and yesterday including a GNSO meeting 
> starting at 6 am and one other WG, I totaled 15 
> hours of teleconferences. So it is perhaps time 
> for a bit of rest and relaxation.
> You can find the initial description of outcomes 
> of the meeting at 
> http://blog.icann.org/2012/11/trademark-clearinghouse-update/.
> Alan
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