29 Rights Protection Mechanisms
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RIGHTS PROTECTION MECHANISMS
Accordingly to the Applicant Guidebook and the Registry Agreement .LAT Registry will implement Rights Protection Mechanisms for the .LAT TLD. .LAT Registry will comply with ICANN policies and practices to minimize abusive registrations and other activities that affect the legal rights of others.
Rights Protection Mechanisms included in the Applicant Guidebook were defined after many hours of work under the counsel of experts and the experience of many participants of the day-to-day operations of the domain name environment. Registry Operators, Registrars, Lawyers and IT professionals worked together in Implementation Recommendation Team to design the mechanisms to protect Intellectual Property and Trademark Rights in the advent of the new gTLD program.
From the recommendations of the IRT, the following Rights Protection Mechanisms (RPMs) were adopted and included in the Applicant Guidebook as requirements for new gTLD Applicants.
Pre-Launch or Startup
* A Sunrise Period for rights holders
For ongoing operations
* Trademark Claims Services (for 60 days after start of operations)
* Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP),
* Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS)
.LAT Registry will implement all mandated Right Protection Mechanisms (RPMs) for the pre-launch, startup and ongoing operation of the .LAT TLD.
PRE-LAUNCH AND STARTUP PROTECTION MECHANISMS
To successfully launch a new gTLD, special care should be taken to allow existing rights holders to register their trademarks as domain names in the new gTLD in a form that allows taking advantage of the full potential of the new gTLD but without being a heavy burden, both economic and political.
The Implementation Recommendation Team took that into consideration to design the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) that must be used by new registries as source of information to run their Sunrise Period and Trademark Claims feature.
.LAT Registry will implement a Sunrise Period and Trademark Claims service as defined in the Trademark Clearinghouse implementation specification.
The .LAT Sunrise period is intended to provide an orderly, transparent and equitable process for the launching of the .LAT TLD. This process is designed to deter abusive registrations while balancing the interests of legitimate rights owners. Eligible rights holders will have an early opportunity to register names in the TLD. Within the Sunrise, rights holders will be able to register domain names for use or for protecting their trademarks in the new gTLD. The .LAT Sunrise period will have a duration of three months.
SUNRISE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS (SERS)
The only SER to participle in .LAT’s sunrise period will be to have a valid registration to the Trademark Clearinghouse. All rights holders of trademarks registered in the Trademark Clearinghouse will be eligible to participate in the Sunrise and register a domain name that is identical to its mark, and using ASCII characters only.
.LAT Registry will rely in the Trademark Clearinghouse to verify that a prospective registrant trademark is eligible to be registered as a domain name during the Sunrise period.
.LAT Registry will communicate to prospective registrants that they must submit trademark data to the Clearinghouse’s entry points determined by ICANN prior to participate in the Sunrise. The communication will also include the criteria for a trademark to be included in the Clearinghouse:
* Nationally or regionally registered word marks from all jurisdictions.
* Any word mark that has been validated through a court of law or other judicial proceeding
* Any word mark protected by a statute or treaty in effect at the time the mark is submitted to the Clearinghouse for inclusion.
* Other marks that constitute intellectual property.
.LAT Registry will include in its communications that in order to participate in a Sunrise the Trademark Clearinghouse will verify that the prospective registrant have submitted the correspondent proof of use for their word mark to the Clearinghouse.
.LAT registry will send to the Clearinghouse all information needed to provide notice to all trademark holders in the Clearinghouse if someone is seeking a sunrise registration. This notice will be provided to holders of marks in the Clearinghouse that are an identical match to the name to be registered during Sunrise.
.LAT will publish on its website the detail of the trademark information that prospective registrants will be required to submit to participate in the sunrise. This information will be consistent with the information required by the Clearinghouse, including proof of use and date of trademark registration.
DOMAIN NAME ALLOCATION IN THE SUNRISE PERIOD
Due to the open nature of the TLD and the wide market that it is targeted to, it is very likely that there will be a considerable number of conflicting applications both on the Sunrise and open registration periods. This condition will be addressed differently in the Sunrise and open registration periods.
To avoid chaotic rush for domain names and preserve an orderly process, all applications received during the sunrise will be treated as received at the same time. Domain names that came from a single application will be allocated to the applicant if the information is verified with data from the Applicant Clearinghouse. For all domain names for which more than one application was received the registration requests will be subject to an additional verification against Clearinghouse data.
The following plan provides a summary of the different phases of the .LAT Registry Sunrise Period.
Phase 1: Sunrise (30-60 days). Holders of registered marks, with a valid registration to the Trademark Clearinghouse will be able to apply for a .LAT domain name that is an exact match of their trademarks.
Phase 2: Quiet Period (30 days). All registration requests are revised and prepared for the next phase.
Phase 3: Sunrise Revision and Allocations (30-60 days). All conflicts of applicants competing for the same domain name will be resolved, and the registrant notified of the resolution.
GENERAL PROCESS FOR SUNRISE APPLICATIONS
.LAT Sunrise Period will be executed with a small number of registrars that will be granted limited connections to the .LAT application servers. All ICANN accredited registrars will be able to participate in the .LAT Sunrise but only those who sign the accreditation for the .LAT TLD and accept the terms of the Sunrise will be granted access to register domain names.
For Sunrise applications, applicants must submit the trademark and domain name to be registered and information on the company or rights holder in a way that it could be verified by the Trademark Clearinghouse. The applications must include the Trademark Clearinghouse registration number as a reference for validation. All applications that do not have a Trademark Clearinghouse registration number or that could not be verified will be declined.
ELIGIBLE TEXT STRINGS.
The domain name applied for must be an exact match with the trademark as included in the Clearinghouse. During the sunrise, .LAT Registry will not accept IDNs. Marks that contain characters in addition to Letter Digit Hyphen (LDH) elements may replace those characters with corresponding LDH for which the special punctuations are removed. The resulting string will be considered as a match with the registered mark. Once the general availability of the TLD has commenced, registrants of domain names will be able to register IDN variants in Spanish language for their domain names. For further details on IDN registration policy and procedures refer to question 44.
.LAT SUNRISE ALLOCATION PROCESS
As noted before, the open nature of the TLD and the wide market that it is targeted to, will much likely result in a considerable number of cases where two or more applications for the same domain name may be successfully verified with data from the Clearinghouse.
.LAT Registry will implement a tie breaking mechanism to resolve conflicting applications found and verified in the Sunrise period. -
Applications received during the Phase 1 of the Sunrise will be treated as received at the same time. Received applications will be verified against data records in the Trademark Clearinghouse and all those applicants that are successfully verified will be subject to an additional data verification to determine who will receive the domain name..LAT Registry will verify that the registrant holds a valid trademark recognized by the Trademark Clearinghouse. All registration requests that do not pass initial validation will be declined.
ADDITIONAL DATA VERIFICATION
For all prospective registrants that participated in the sunrise period and applied to register the same domain name, there will be an additional verification to determine the date that the trademark or word mark registration was granted, as recognized by the TMCH. The domain name will be allocated to the applicant with the oldest trademark registration date as recorded in the TMCH.
It must be noted that accordingly to ICANN, the Trademark Clearinghouse Implementation is an ongoing work. Details regarding validation and verification of trademark data entered into the Clearinghouse will be published by ICANN. Technical information on how to integrate the functionality provided by the Clearinghouse into the registrar’s and⁄or registries’ systems will be published on time for integration.
It is expected that the mechanisms and protocols that the Registry and the Clearinghouse will use to interact will be defined by ICANN and the Trademark Clearinghouse service provider. .LAT Registry will implement all required interfaces to connect with the Clearinghouse.
If the required information to serve as tie breaking criteria is not available in the TMCH then an equivalent data should be pointed out by the Clearinghouse. If there isn’t a suitable data to serve as tie breaker, then there will be an auction.
GENERAL AVAILABILITY, LANDRUSH PERIOD
The General Availability of the .LAT domain name will be initiated with a Landrush Period. For this period, there will not be a list of reserved premium names. All names will be made available at the same time in a transparent manner. Nevertheless .LAT Registry will implement an inverse auction scheme (Dutch Auction) to give opportunity that the public and the general interest help to determine the actual value of .LAT domain names. This scheme will be explained in detail in the financial section.
NIC Mexico implemented this scheme with great success (in terms of transparency and operations efficiency) during the re-launch of second level domain registration for .MX ccTLD.
POST-LAUNCH RIGHTS PROTECTION MECHANISMS
The Post-Launch Rights Protection Mechanisms are intended to protect rights holders following the general availability launch. .LAT Registry will implement a Trademark Claims Service and also will implement decisions rendered under the Unified Rapid Suspension System (URS) and Unified Dispute Resolution Process (UDRP).
.LAT Registry will provide Trademark Claims services during the initial launch period for trademarks in the Trademark Clearinghouse. As defined by ICANN, a Trademark Claims service is intended to provide clear notice to the prospective registrant of the scope of the mark holder’s rights in order to minimize the chilling effect on registrants.
The Trademark Claims service will provide notice to potential registrants of existing trademark rights, as well as notice to rights holders of relevant names being registered. Following ICANN’s requirements .LAT Registry will implement the Trademark Claims for 60 days following the general availability launch.
.LAT Registry will adhere to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) as incorporated by ICANN since 1999. .LAT Registry will participate and collaborate with the dispute-resolution providers to implement any decision rendered in relation with a dispute over a domain name under .LAT TLD.
NIC Mexico as registry service provider for .LAT TLD has long experience with the implementation of the UDRP, as it was incorporated to its operative policies since December 1st 2000. Since the first UDRP case NIC Mexico has had more than one hundred cases solved by WIPO as our panelists provider and also implemented the corresponding decisions.
.LAT Registry will “lock” the domain name during a UDRP process until the panel renders a resolution and the registry is notified. This means that the registry will restrict all changes to the registration data, including transfer and deletion of the domain name, but the name will continue to resolve.
.LAT Registry operations staff will have at their disposition a tool to query and manage the “lock” status for domain names going through a UDRP procedure. The “lock” action will be reflected on the domain name by adding the corresponding EPP status like ServerUpdateProhibited, ServerDeleteProhibited, ServerTransferProhibited. Also the Administrative Status SuspendedByExternalAuthority will be used with the corresponding EPP extension.
.LAT Registry will collaborate as needed during the process, by sending all information required to the provider upon request. On NIC Mexico’s experience, the dispute resolution provider generally requests for validated whois data of the domain name.
The remedies available to a complainant pursuant to any proceeding before a provider shall be limited to requiring the cancellation of the domain name or the transfer of the domain name registration to the complainant. .LAT Registry will implement the decisions rendered by the evaluation panels upon receipt of written notice (generally an e-mail) from the provider.
The Applicant Guidebook includes a new process for trademark protection developed through community consultations, first with the recommendations of the Implementation Recommendations Team (IRT) and others, and feedback gathered in online fora and public meetings.
The Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS) is designed to offer trademark owners a quick and low-cost procedure to take down infringing websites. .LAT Registry will implement the URS as defined in the Applicant Guidebook. The operations team will have the adequate tools available to implement the decisions of the URS provider. Case of a favorable decision for the complainant .LAT Registry will suspend the domain name and will point it to a mandatory URS placeholder page for the remaining registration period.
The URS procedures will be conducted by one of the ICANN appointed URS Providers that will send notifications to .LAT Registry as needed.
Upon reception of written notice from the URS Provider .LAT Registry will take all actions required by the procedure. To start, .LAT registry will “lock” the domain within 24 hours of receipt of the “Notice of Complaint”, meaning the registry shall restrict all changes to the registration data, including transfer and deletion of the domain names, but the name will continue to resolve.
Accordingly to the URS procedures, .LAT Registry will notify the URS Provider immediately upon locking the domain name (”Notice of Lock”).
.LAT Registry operations staff will have at their disposition a tool to handle of actions related to the URS, including query and manage the “lock” status. The “lock” action will be reflected on the domain name by adding the corresponding EPP status like ServerUpdateProhibited, ServerDeleteProhibited, ServerTransferProhibited. Also the Administrative Status SuspendedByExternalAuthority will be used with the corresponding EPP extension.
Determinations by the evaluation panel shall also be emailed by the URS Provider to the Registrant, the Complainant, the Registrar, and the Registry Operator, and shall specify the remedy and required actions of the registry operator to comply with the Determination. .LAT Registry will implement the required actions as requested by the URS Provider, depending on the findings concerning the URS procedure.
.LAT Registry tools will include the required functionality to implement the remedies available to a complainant pursuant to any URS proceeding before a provider:
* Ordering the suspension of the domain name for the remaining of the registration period, with the nameservers redirected to an informational web page provided by the URS Provider about the URS; or
* Requiring the removal of the “lock” of the domain name and return full control to the Registrant, with the nameservers resolving to the original web site.
.LAT Registry will always take reasonable steps to investigate and respond to any abuse reports from law enforcement and governmental agencies of illegal conduct in connection with the use of domain names under the TLD. The abuse contact will be available to receive such reports and special priority will be given to reports received from law enforcement agencies. All findings will be reported as appropriate but no action will be taken unless they come in the form of a UDRP or USR resolution or direct instructions from ICANN, for example as part of a ERSR execution.
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