Intellectual Property Interests 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 2011-2014, the IPC submitted the following public comments:

  • IPC Comments on the Meeting Strategy Working Group Recommendations(September 18, 2014)
  • IPC Reply Comments on the ICANN Staff Paper On WhoIs Conflicts Procedure(August 1, 2014)
  • IPC Comments on the German Data Retention Waiver(June 20, 2014)
  • IPC Comments on Black Knight Data Retention Waiver(June 6, 2014)
  • IPC Comments on the IRD Interim Report(May 27, 2014)
  • IPC Comments on the Draft WhoIs Implementation Plan(April 23, 2014)
  • IPC Comments on Draft Recommendations of the Accountability and Transparency Review Team 2(December 13, 2013)
  • IPC Reply Comments on the RPM Requirements(September 18, 2013)
  • IPC Reply Comments on the Proposal to Mitigate Name Collision(September 17, 2013)
  • IPC Comments on the Expert Working Group on gTLD Directory Services Initial Report(September 6, 2013)
  • IPC Comments on the Structures Charter Amendment Process(August 28, 2013)
  • IPC Comments on Rights Protection Mechanism Requirements(August 27, 2013)
  • Reply Comments of the IPC on .ORG Renewal(August 8, 2013)
  • Reply Comments of the IPC on the Thick Whois Initial Report(August 2, 2013)
  • Reply Comments of the IPC on ICANN FY 2014 Operating Plan and Budget(June 21, 2013)
  • IPC Comments on the WhoIs Information Status Policy(May 31, 2013)
  • IPC Comments on Trademark Strawman and LPR Mechanism(January 15, 2013)
  • IPC Comments on Renewal of .com Registry Agreement(April 26, 2012)
  • IPC Comments on Revised Conflicts of Interest Policy(April 24, 2012)
  • IPC Comments on Proposed Protections for the International Red Cross and International Olympic Committee in New gTLDs(April 9, 2012)
  • IPC Comments on WhoIs Review Team Report(March 23, 2012)
  • IPC Comments on FY13 Budget Framework(February 23, 2012)
  • IPC Comments on .cat WhoIs Proposal(February 10, 2012)
  • IPC Comments on Preliminary Issues Report on RAA Amendments(January 13, 2012)
  • IPC Comments on New gTLD Applicant Support Program(January 10, 2012)
  • IPC Comments on Thick WhoIs Preliminary Issues Report ( December 30, 2011)
  • IPC Comments on ICANN Draft_Strategic Plan(November 17, 2011)
  • Phase II of Public Comments Process Enhancements-IPC Reply Comments(October 15, 2011)
  • IPC Comments on Joint Applicant Support Working Group (July 29, 2011)
  • IPC Comments on the Whois Review Team Discussion Paper(July 23, 2011)
  • IPC Comments on the UDRP PDP (July 15, 2011)
  • IPC comments on new gTLD Draft Communications Plan(July 15, 2011)
  • IPC comments on FY 12 budget(June 16, 2011)
  • IPC Comments on the Applicant Guidebook - April 2011 Discussion Draft (May 15, 2011)
  • IP Comments on the .Net renewal agreement (May 10, 2011)
  • IPC Comments on the Proposed Final Report of the PEDNR Working Group(April 21, 2011)
  • IPC Comments On WhoIs RT(March 17, 2011)
  • IPC comments on interim report IRDWG (March 14, 2011)
  • IPC comments FY12 budget framework(March 14, 2011)

In 2010, IPC submitted its position papers regarding:

  • The Procedure for Board Seat 13- IPC did not object on the timetable, however with regards to the subject matter on leaving the 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 which paved the way to remove party dominance in a contrctual relationship with ICANN regarding GNSO's selection of board members. [4]
  • 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 recommend to ICANN that these major issues should be resolved first before opening any EOI.[5]
  • 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.[6]

.com Renewal

In August, 2012, 3 of ICANN's Constituencies (ALAC, GNSO Business Constituency, GNSO Intellectual Property Constituency) sent a letter to the 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.[7]


  1. IPC Bylaws
  2. Membership
  3. IPC Council
  4. GNSO Operating Procedures on the 2010 Selection Process for ICANN Board Seat 13
  5. Comments for ICANN Expression of Interest
  6. Comments to the Recommendations of Special Trademark Issues
  7. Constituencies Blast ICANNs Closed Door Verisign Com Contract Renewal,