IRT

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The Implementation Recommendation Team is a working group composed of international experts with relevant knowledge and experience in the field of consumer protection and trademark issues and laws. It was created by the Intellectual Property Constituency of the GNSO in compliance with the ICANN Board Resolution on March 6, 2009. Its main objective is to develop recommendations that will help resolve the issues concerning trademark protection in connection with the introduction of new generic top level domain names (gTLDs). [1]

Background

The establishment of the IRT was a result of a public discussion regarding the implementation models of new gTLDs during the 34th ICANN Meeting in Mexico City on March 1-6, 2009. During the discussions, the IPC and different internet stakeholders voiced their concerns over trademark protection issues and the costs associated with the implementation of new gTLDs which, may discourage participation such as the application fee of $135,000 stated in the New gTLD Applicant Guidebook. Subsequently, the ICANN Board authorized the creation of the IRT to tackle & identify the problems related to trademark protection and recommend solutions.[2]

The ICANN Board instructed IRT to release its draft report to the internet community on April 24, 2009 and the final report on May 24, 2009 for public comments.[3]

On March 24, 2009, IRT conducted its first administrative meeting (teleconference) and formulated its working rules and agenda for future meetings.The team's first face to face meeting was held in Washington D.C. on April 1-2, 2009. [4]

IRT Recommendations

The IRT identified high priority issues and recommended the following solutions to help solve the top concerns of the internet stake holders:[5]

  1. Creation of IP Clearinghouse, Globally Protected Marks Lists, Associated Rights Protection & Standardized Pre-launch Mechanisms
  2. ƒUniform Rapid Suspension System (URS)
  3. Post delegation dispute resolution mechanisms at the top level
  4. Whois requirements for new TLDs
  5. Use of algorithm in string confusion review during initial evaluation

Members of IRT Team

The IRT was developed by 18 members of the IPC. Caroline G. Chicoine served as Chairman of the team. The members of the IRT include:[6]

Ex-Officio Members

ICA Comments on IRT

On April 24, 2009, Philip Corwin, Counsel for Internet Commerce Association submitted a complaint against the operations of the IRT and requested ICANN Ombudsman Mr. Frank Fowlie to conduct an investigation. According to Fowlie, IRT has been conducting its activities unfairly and without transparency. He cited that the IRT members agreed on their March 25, 2009 meeting to provide general updates only to the internet community and ideas may only be shared as long as it has no attribution. The mailing list, call records can only be accessed by IRT members. In addition, discussions of the the IRT members during meeting should be confidential and no distribution of MP3. Fowlie added that during the subsequent meetings of the IRT, information provided to the internet community are superficial and the chairman of the team even reminded its members about IRT’s Code of Conduct and confidentiality obligations. [7] Fowlie pointed out that IRT's actions are clear violation of Article III Section 1 of the ICANN Bylaws which reads: 'ICANN and its constituent bodies shall operate to the maximum extent feasible in an open and transparent manner and consistent with procedures designed to ensure fairness.[8]

References