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Announcement By The Int'l Trademark Assn Re The NSI Domain Name
Policy And The Use Of Trademarks On The Internet.

Release Dates: December 4 and 27, 1996

New York, N.Y., December 4, 1996 -- The International Trademark Association (INTA) has prepared and released for comment a policy proposal that addresses the interests of trademark owners and legitimate Internet users in domain name disputes by proposing that Network Information Centers (NICs) limit themselves to domain name registration procedures, and leave dispute resolution to the courts.

This proposal was prepared in response to the Association's recent appointment to a special international ad hoc committee (IAHC) by the Internet Society (ISOC). The IAHC was created to define, investigate and resolve issues arising from a controversial proposal by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) to establish global registries and add up to 150 new international top level domain names. IANA is the central coordinator for assigning Internet addresses, domain names, protocol numbers, and port numbers for Internet protocol.

INTA selected Sally Abel, Chair of its Internet Subcommittee, as its representative to the IAHC. Ms. Abel presented for review the Subcommittee's draft of its Proposed Domain Name Registry Policy at the INTA Board of Directors Meeting on November 20 in Naples, Florida. Anne Bright Gundelfinger, an INTA Subcommittee member and one of the drafters of the proposal said, "The key feature of this draft is that it is fair to all. It has the added benefits of reducing NIC legal exposure, encouraging settlements of disputes before domain names are used, ensuring accountability of domain name holders, reducing warehoused domain names, and making it difficult for domain name pirates to succeed in their alleged goals."

Another drafter, Neal Greenfield, added, "This is the only way to guarantee that the rights of all domain name holders, from owners of famous marks down to those who have no independent trademark rights, will be safeguarded from arbitrary decisions of Internet registry authorities not suited to the task."

The proposal has been posted for comment on INTA's INTA ONLINE web site (), and may be directly accessed at . In addition, a hard copy can be obtained from INTA. INTA's purpose in offering the proposal is to assure that trademark owners' concerns are represented in the discussion of Internet domain names, and to ensure that their interests are equitably recognized in any final resolution of the current debate in the assignment of domain names and any resulting trademark infringements.

The International Trademark Association, founded in 1878 as The United States Trademark Association, works to promote trademarks as essential to commerce worldwide. INTA, with more than 3,200 members in 117 countries, leads the way in shaping public policy on trademark and intellectual property issues, and helps to educate business, the press and the public on the importance and proper use of trademarks.

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