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Category Archives: Internet Governance & Domain Names

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TMT China Brief – Summer 2018

Welcome to our first issue of TMT China Brief in 2018! This edition features a total of 14 articles which capture various significant TMT developments in Greater China. These developments cover an extraordinary breadth of topics and demonstrate a strong increase in the nuance and complexity of TMT law and practice in the region. Cybersecurity

Netherlands – Cybersecurity: Hackman to the rescue!

In May, SIDN, the Registry responsible for the country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) extension .NL (Netherlands), published an article on the Ethical Hacker Rickey Gevers and the efforts of the Netherlands to make the Dutch public more aware of the risks of cyber criminality online. The ‘Hackman’ on-line campaign (in Dutch), got underway earlier in

European Commission issues important notice on the impact of Brexit on .EU domain names

On 28 March 2018, the European Commission’s (EC) Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology released an important notice to stakeholders (the “Notice”) on the impact of Brexit on .EU domain names.  The EC’s Notice highlighted that the EU regulatory framework for the .EU country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) will cease to apply to

WIPO: Cybersquatting breaks all-time record high

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the United Nations specialized agency based in Geneva that administers the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) has released a press release revealing that cybersquatting cases in 2017 reached an all-time high, with 3,074 cases filed in 2017 (compared to 3,036 cases filed in 2016 and 2,754 cases

ICANN halts applications for .CORP, .HOME and .MAIL

On 4 February 2018, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) passed a Resolution to halt the new generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) applications for .CORP, .HOME and .MAIL.  As a result, and in the interest of fairness, ICANN has agreed to refund the full application fees for each TLD (USD 185,000) to

Domain Names: The dangers of “snapping”

DNS Belgium, the Registry operating the .BE country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD), recently published an article warning domain name owners of the risks inherent in the practice of “snapping”.  Although anyone can legitimately snap up an expired domain name, problems can arise when cybercriminals grab expired domain names and then use them in damaging

dotFM embraces emoji domain names

dotFM, the Registry responsible for the .FM Top Level Domain (TLD), is to join the handful of TLDs that are making emoji domain names available to register.  The Registry, which is the country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) for Micronesia but which, in view of its .FM extension, has up to now mainly marketed its

ICANN in California – 2018 McCarthy Symposium review

We are delighted to have sponsored the eighth annual McCarthy Institute Trademark Symposium on February 23 in Sunnyvale, California. The one-day event, titled “Trademark Law and Its Challenges 2018” brought together over 200 brand owners, trademark attorneys and public policymakers to face off on today’s most pressing issues in trademark law. With speakers from Amazon, Google, Microsoft, PepsiCo and Pinterest the

WIPO – No fan site for tribute band

In a recent decision under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) before the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a panel ordered the transfer of a domain name that exactly matched the name of a famous pop group and belonged to a tribute band. The decision highlights the fact that genuine fan sites conferring

.IE registration rules to relax in March

In our earlier post we commented on IEDR´s (the Irish Registry for the .IE country code Top Level Domain) Public Consultation with a view to relaxing the registration policy for .IE domain names. Indeed, up until now, applicants for .IE domain names had to meet the following registration requirements: 1. A connection to Ireland (via Irish

.NL leads the way in the fight against malicious online activity

Malicious activities are an ongoing problem across the Internet and growth is increasing as a result of ever more sophisticated phishing attacks.  One ccTLD Registry that has demonstrated it is taking these issues very seriously is SIDN, the Registry for the .NL extension (Netherlands). The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) regularly publishes a Phishing Activity Trends

Sites get ICEd in transatlantic assault on cyber crooks

As part of a sustained and coordinated effort, law enforcement agencies on both sides of the Atlantic have rounded off their on-going fight against cybercrime known as “Operation In Our Sites” with the traditional annual flourish on “Cyber Monday”.  In the U.S., and increasingly elsewhere, the Monday following “Black Friday” (the first Friday after Thanksgiving),

Blockchain trending in domain name registrations

Domain name registrations often reflect current trends and it is thus not surprising that a large number of recent second-level domain name registrations under .COM and .NET include terminology relating to blockchain. A report published last month by Verisign on the “Top 10 Trending Keywords in .COM and .NET Registrations in August” placed the words

.RU and .РФ show healthy growth whilst deterring cyber criminals

The Coordination Center, which is responsible for the management of the Russian country code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) .RU and .РФ, recently published its annual report which showcased the vigorous growth of both .RU and .РФ as well as highlighting efforts to combat malicious activity in the .RU and .РФ domain name spaces. The main

Proposed change of registration policy for .IE domain names

IEDR, the Irish Domain Registry, recently announced that it was a running a Public Consultation with a view to liberalising the .IE domain name registration policy. The current registration requirements for .IE domain names are the following: 1. A connection to Ireland Applicants can be: •    Irish citizens or residents; •    Companies registered in Ireland;

.CH leads the way in the battle against fraud

SWITCH, the Registry responsible for the country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) .CH, recently published an article on the subject of counterfeit goods and fraudulent websites hosted under the .CH ccTLD and the measures they are implementing to try to put a halt to such practices. When it comes to online shopping, if the price

SSAC gives the thumbs down to the use of emoji in domain names

Emoji, the pictorial symbols typically presented in a colourful cartoon form, are nowadays being widely used on smartphones, in chat, in email applications and in social media.  Their increasing popularity has prompted the question of whether they could be used in domain names, just like other non-American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) letters (e.g.

China: Cybersquatter asks Chinese court to declare its own domain names invalid

The Beijing Haidian District People’s Court has recently heard a case in which a domain name registrant requested the court to declare its domain name registration contracts invalid. In this somewhat unusual case, the court granted this request concluding that the object of the agreement was cyber-squatting, thereby cancelling dozens of squatted domain names. The

Welcome to the WIPO overview 3.0

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has recently updated its WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, the previous edition of which (WIPO Overview 2.0) was published in 2011. The WIPO Overview is a collection of Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) jurisprudence summarising consensus panel views on a range of

Time to re-visit the 2-year time bar in a .CN complaint?

Unlike the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), the CNNIC ccTLD Dispute Resolution Policy (CNDRP)  – the dispute resolution policy governing the .CN domain in China – sets a time bar which stipulates that no complaints concerning a .CN (or “.中国”) registration over 2 years old will be accepted.  This time bar has in

The latest on new gTLDs

.STORAGE to be relaunched The XYZ.com Registry announced earlier this month that it had acquired .STORAGE, its tenth new generic Top Level Domain (gTLD).  XYZ.com already operates .XYZ, the largest new gTLD with just under 6 million registered domain names (which represents 22% of all registered new gTLDs), and eight others which it acquired afterwards:

$10 domain name halts spread of WannaCry ransomware

A major global ransomware attack going by the name of WannaCry was recently short circuited by the registration of a single domain name costing just over $10.  The unregistered domain name consisting of random characters was apparently programmed into the WannaCry malware by its creators in order to function as a “kill switch” and was