World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Member States Decision

At their meeting from September 23 to October 1, 2002, WIPO Member States took a decision on the issues addressed in the Second WIPO Internet Domain Name Process. This decision was based on the recommendations of the Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications (SCT).

The decision is summarized as follows:

International Nonproprietary Names (INNs):

The General Assembly adopted the recommendation of the SCT with respect to INNs, namely that while many delegations favored the protection of INNs in the Domain Name System against registration as domain names in order to protect the integrity of the INN system, it was decided not to recommend a specific form of protection at this stage. It was agreed that the Secretariat should, in cooperation with the World Health Organization continue to monitor the situation and, if necessary, bring to the attention of the Member States any material change in the situation.

Trade names:

The General Assembly adopted the recommendation of the SCT with respect to trade names, namely that Member States should keep the matter under review and raise the matter for further discussion if the situation so demanded.

Personal names:

The General Assembly adopted the recommendation of the SCT with respect to personal names, namely that no action is recommended in this area.

Geographical indications:

The General Assembly adopted the recommendation of the SCT with respect to geographical indications, namely that the WIPO General Assembly revert this issue to the regular session of the SCT to decide how the issue of the protection of geographical indications in the Domain Name System be dealt with.

Names and acronyms of International Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs):

The General Assembly adopted the recommendation of the SCT with respect to the names and acronyms of IGOs, namely that the UDRP be modified to provide for complaints to be filed by an IGO.

The Delegation of the United States of America dissociated itself from this recommendation.

Country names:

The General Assembly noted that, as concluded by the SCT, most delegations favored some form of protection for country names against registration or use (of domain names) by persons unconnected with the constitutional authorities of the country in question and where such registration would cause confusion as to source.

The Delegations of Australia, Canada, and the United States of America dissociated themselves from this recommendation.

Explore WIPO