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WIPO Internet Domain Name Process



Interim Report
of the
WIPO Internet Domain Name Process

December 23, 1998


The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has convened an international process to develop recommendations on certain intellectual property issues associated with Internet domain names, including dispute resolution. During this Process WIPO seeks to solicit participation from the widest international range of interested parties. The recommendations resulting from the WIPO Internet Domain Name Process will be provided to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the new organization that has been formed to manage and coordinate the Internet domain name system, and will be reported to WIPO’s member States.

The WIPO Internet Domain Name Process comprises three stages. During the first stage, WIPO issued a Request for Comments (WIPO RFC-1) on July 8, 1998, with a view to obtaining consensus on the issues to be addressed in the Process, the procedures to be used and the timetable in which the Process would take place. The second stage consisted of issuing, on September 16, 1998, a second Request for Comments (WIPO RFC-2) seeking comments on the substance of the issues defined after consideration of the comments received on WIPO RFC-1.

The third stage of the Process consists of the publication of an Interim Report containing draft recommendations, and subjecting that report to comments in response to this third Request for Comments (WIPO RFC-3). The Interim Report has been drafted with the assistance of the Panel of Experts constituted for this Process and on the basis of the comments received and the consultations held during the second stage. The full text of the Interim Report is available below.

All interested parties are invited to submit comments on the Interim Report and the draft recommendations contained therein. The comments received will be taken into account by WIPO in the formulation of recommendations in its Final Report, which is to be published on April 30, 1999. Comments can be submitted by the following means:

a) Through the Submit Comment form that is available under the RFCs & Comments section of the Web Site. We recommend choosing this method for the submission of comments.

b) By electronic mail

c) By regular mail to the following address: WIPO Internet Domain Name Process, World Intellectual Property Organization, 34 chemin des Colombettes, P.O. Box 18, 1211 Geneva 20, Switzerland.

All comments must be received by March 19, 1999.

Browse Comments



Executive Summary

Paragraph Numbers

1. The Internet, Domain Names and the WIPO Process

1 to 36

The Internet
The Domain Name System
The Transmutation of Domain Names
Intellectual Property
The Process for the Re-organization of the Management of the
Domain Name System
The Interface Between the Domain Name System and Intellectual
Property: The WIPO Process
The Mechanics of the WIPO Process
Guiding Principles in the Formulation of Recommendations in the
WIPO Process

1 to 3
4 to 9
11 to 13

14 to 19

20 to 23
24 to 29

30 to 36

2. Avoiding Disjunction Between Cyberspace and the Rest of the World: Practices Designed to Minimize Conflicts Arising out of Domain Name Registrations

37 to 106

Best Practices for Registration Authorities
The Availability of Information Relating to Contact Details
Dealing with False or Inadequate Information
The Problem of Uniqueness: Technical Measures for
Co-existence of Similar Names

44 to 78
79 to 89
90 to 101

102 to 106

3. Resolving Conflicts in a Multijurisdictional World with a Global Medium: Uniform Dispute-Resolution Procedures 107 to 201

Court Litigation
Guiding Principles for the Design of an Alternative
Dispute-Resolution (ADR) Policy
The Role of Mediation
The Role of Arbitration
A Recommended Administrative Dispute-Resolution Procedure

113 to 119

120 to 123
124 to 128
129 to 138
139 to 201

4. The Problem of Notoriety: Famous and Well-Known Marks 202 to 245

International Protection of Famous and Well-Known Marks
The Implementation of Protection for Famous
Well-known Marks in Cyberspace
Mechanism for Exclusion of Famous and
Well-known Marks in Open TLDS
Evidentiary Presumption Resulting from and Exclusion
Recognition of Abusive Registration of a
Domain Name as a Ground of Cancellation or Transfer

205 to 209

210 to 215

216 to 235
236 to 238

239 to 245

5. New Generic Top-Level Domains: Some Considerations from the Perspective of Intellectual Property 246 to 290

The Diversity of Views and the Diversity of Perspectives
Illustrations of Problems Encountered by Holders of
Intellectual Property Rights in Existing gTLDs
Provisional Conclusions, Suggestions and Reflections

249 to 253

254 to 272
273 to 290

* * * * * * *


I. Panel of Experts Appointed by WIPO
II. List of Governments, Organizations and Persons Submitting Formal Comments
III. Statistical Information Concerning Participation in the WIPO Process
IV. List of States Party to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property
V. List of States Party to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Bound by the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement)