The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and the Coalition for Responsible Domain Oversight (CRIDO) have urged ICANN to adopt a “Do Not Sell” registry or some similar approach to
address concerns Internet stakeholders have about the need for “defensive registrations” to protect their brands in the TLD (top level domain) expansion program.
Said Dan Jaffe, ANA EVP, in the letter, “Many of our members feel tremendous pressure to apply for new TLDs, even though they have no interest in actually using them. The need for defensive registrations is not merely a ‘perception’ as ICANN asserts. Too often, defensive registrations are the only avenue available to brand owners to protect the value they have created through decades of hard work and tremendous capital investment.”
The ANA/CRIDO letter describes the specific concerns marketers and other Internet stakeholders have about the need for defensive registrations at both the top and second domain levels. It also discusses serious gaps and shortfalls in the current protections that ICANN has provided for brand and trademark owners in the TLD expansion program. The letter urges ICANN to adopt a “Do Not Sell” registry, a proposal that was delivered to ICANN by ANA and CRIDO last month.
Jaffe stated: “There is a very clear reason why ICANN has reserved several of its own names as well as the names of the International Olympic Committee and the Red Cross. A ‘Do Not Sell’ registry would provide the same level of protection to the rest of the Internet community. Without that protection, brand owners will be forced to spend vast sums of money on TLDs they do not want or need in order to prevent consumer confusion, dilution of their trademark rights and other serious harms. We strongly urge ICANN to adopt such an approach at the upcoming board meeting in Costa Rica next month.”