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Law / Featured Blogs

Assessing Intent to Cybersquat

It, perhaps, does not have to be said that cybersquatting is an intentional tort. No one would expect the respondent to admit unlawful intention, but complainant's proof must nevertheless support that contention. The Panel in Hästens Sängar AB v. Jeff Bader / Organic Mattresses, Inc. FA2005001895951 (Forum July 31, 2020) reminds us that it takes more than bad faith use of a domain name to find cybersquatting. more

Is Booking.com a Generic Term?

A fundamental rule of trademarks is that they have to be distinctive, and that nobody can register a trademark on a generic term like "wine" or "plastic." In a case decided today by the U.S. Supreme Court, the court decided 8-1 that online travel agent Booking.com could register its domain name as a trademark. In this case, I think the majority got it wrong, and Justice Breyer's lone dissent is correct. more

Asserting but Not Proving Cybersquatting Under the UDRP

Having trademarks (registered or unregistered) is the prerequisite for maintaining a UDRP, but having one is not conclusive of either Respondent’s lack of rights or legitimate interests or that it registered and is using the domain name in bad faith. The cautionary tale in many of these cases, especially for the Complainant who has the burden of proof, is that it has to satisfy each of the elements in the three subsections... more

Article 22 of the GDPR Should Not Preclude Contemplated Automation

There is an ongoing disagreement among various members and groups in the ICANN community regarding automation -- namely, whether and to what extent automation can be used to disclose registrant data in response to legitimate data disclosure requests. A major contributing factor to the complications around automation has been confusion about how to interpret and apply Article 22 of the GDPR. more

Surveillance Capitalist in Chief

Surveillance capitalism monetizes private data that it collects without consent of the individuals concerned, data to analyze and sell to advertisers and opinion-makers. There was always an intricate relationship between governments and surveillance capitalists. Governments have the duty to protect their citizens from the excesses of surveillance capitalism. On the other hand, governments use that data, and surveillance capitalism's services and techniques. more

CircleID Launches the First in a Series of Community Dialogues on COVID-19 and the Internet

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the rapid migration of the world's workforce and consumer services to virtual spaces, has amplified the Internet governance and policy issues including infrastructure, access, exponential instances of fraud and abuse, global cooperation and data privacy, to name but a few. The need for practical, scalable and efficient solutions has risen dramatically. more

Internet Governance and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Part 5: Article 15-17

Internet Governance, like all governance, needs to be founded in guiding principles from which all policy making is derived. There are no more fundamental principles to guide our policy making than the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, (UDHR). This article as Part 5 of the series of articles (published in installments), and we are revisiting Article 15 to look at empowered Digital Citizenship and Internet Governance, to move on to the rights to a family and property more

The Price of Lack of Clarity

As anyone reading this blog, assuredly knows, the world is in the grip of a deadly pandemic. One way to contain it is contact-tracing: finding those who have been near infected people and getting them to self-quarantine. Some experts think that because of how rapidly newly infected individuals themselves become contagious, we need some sort of automated scheme. That is, traditional contact tracing is labor-intensive and time-consuming - a time we don't have. more

Preserving ICANN’s Independence Through Bold Action – Not Inaction

This week, the ICANN Board will vote on whether to approve the transfer of control of the .ORG domain to a private equity firm called Ethos Capital. This is a weighty decision for ICANN, since in order to approve the sale, it will have to convince itself that this is the right choice in the face of tremendous and widespread opposition, including from those who will be most affected by the sale. more

Cybersquatting and Reverse Domain Name Hijacking: UDRP to ACPA

Trademark owners in the U.S. have a choice in suing for alleged cybersquatting: either the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) or the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA). Of the two, the UDRP is far and away the forum of choice for a very good reason: it is speedy, efficient, and inexpensive. Complaint to award can be concluded in less than 45 days. more