Intellectual Property Constituency

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The Intellectual Property Interests Constituency (IPC) is one of the constituencies comprising the Commercial Stakeholder Group, which is a part of the Non-Contracted Parties House in ICANN's Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) set forth by the ICANN Bylaws. It was constituted on December 15, 2002.

The IPC's main objective is to represent the views and interests of the Intellectual Property owners around the world particularly their trademarks, copyrights and other intellectual property rights and their effects and interaction with the Domain Name System (DNS). The constituency is expected to incorporate their views in the recommendations from the GNSO to the ICANN Board.[1]



The IPC is composed of individuals and organizations committed to the advocacy and development of intellectual property as one of the critical factors of global commercial development. Members are classified in different categories: Category 3, international IP organizations; 2, local, state, or national intellectual property organizations; 1B, individuals; and 1A, companies, firms, and organizations that have demonstrated their interest in the protection of intellectual property.[2]


IPC Council

The IPC Council (IPCC) is the main governing and decision making body of the Constituency, which is overseen by its president. It is composed of one designated representative and at least 2 alternative representatives from the Category 2 & 3 member organizations who were given the capacity to delegate their representatives and alternate representatives. The authority of the IPCC includes the ability to:[3]

  • Adopt and amend the bylaws and decide on the dissolution of the IPC;
  • Admit, refuse or expel any member based on reasonable grounds and the best interest of the IPC. Such action will be reviewed by the ICANN Ombudsman in accordance with the ICANN bylaws
  • Elect or remove officers of IPC based on the provision of the Constituency bylaws
  • Elect or remove three representatives to the GNSO Council based on the provisions of its bylaws
  • Determine and study questions based on the objectives of the IPC
  • Create consensus among its members including minority views on policy issues which will be used to give advise to IPC representatives to the GNSO Council
  • Provide guidelines to the officers of the IPC and to review and approve their work;
  • Issue, change and revoke directives, instructions and advice on the administration and operation of the IPC and its bodies; and
  • Consider therRecommendations from its treasurer and subsequently establish subscription fees for IPC membership

Position Statements on ICANN Policy Issues

The Intellectual Property Constituency provides the position statements and the recommendations of its members for virtually every ICANN policy issue. In 2021:

  • Civility Pledge (November 2021)
  • IPC Position Paper on Accuracy of WHOIS Data (August 2021)

In 2012:

  • the Intellectual Property Constituency sent a letter to ICANN organization complaining that the organization held its renewal talks with Verisign behind closed doors and the result is that there are no Thick Whois requirements for the .com TLD.[4]

In 2010, IPC submitted its position papers regarding:

  • The Procedure for Board Seat 13- IPC did not object to the timetable, however with regards to the subject matter of leaving all the other issues related to the selection of Board Seat to be decided by the Contracted Party House, IPC requested a parity for the Non-contracted Party House. According to IPC, the Non-contracted Party House should also be allowed to decide how to fill Board seat 14 the following year and shouldn't be required to follow the strategy of the Contracted Party House for seat 13. The constituency emphasized that allowing each House to decide separately how to fill a seat on the ICANN Board is a positive improvement that paved the way to remove party dominance in a contractual relationship with ICANN regarding GNSO's selection of board members. [5]
  • Its Comments for ICANN on Expressions of Interest- IPC strongly expressed its concern regarding ICANN's proposal to implement new gTLDs without addressing the major issues such as the rights protection, economic impact of new gTLDs, malicious conduct, security and stability (root scaling) and neutral integration, ways on how to solve string contention, the need to impose restrictions to prevent speculation/gaming of Expression of Interest (EOI), etc. IPC also commented that there should be plans to implement effective strategies to protect rights and prevent trademark abuses. IPC strongly recommends to ICANN that these major issues should be resolved first before opening any EOI.[6]
  • Its Comments to the Recommendations of the Special Trademark Issues Review Team (STI)- IPC reiterated that trademarks must be sufficiently protected with efficient and fair mechanisms to avoid court litigation that is burdensome to all involved parties. The Constituency recommended that new gTLD operators should be given the freedom to go beyond the minimum level of protection within appropriate circumstances and ICANN should that a periodic review of the efficiency of the implementation of new gTLDs.[7]

In 2005:

  • IPC White Paper on DN Expansion (June 2005)

In 2000:

  • Position Paper on gTLD issues (March 4, 2000)
  • Position Paper on WHOIS issues (March 3, 2000)
  • Position Paper on ccTLD issues (March 1, 2000)
  • Position Paper on Famous Marks