International Ad Hoc Committee
December 19, 1996

Draft Specifications for
Administration and Management of gTLDs

This document is a draft specification from the IAHC, a task force selected by the IAB, IANA, ITU, INTA, WIPO, and ISOC. This document is valid for public review and comment until January 17, 1997. On January 31, 1997 the IAHC will publish a finalized document.

CONTENTS

1. INTRODUCTION
1.1 IAHC Charter
1.2 Goals and Milestones
1.3 Public Participation

2. NATURE OF TLDS
2.1 National
2.2 International
2.3 Generic

3. GTLDS
3.1 Whether to Create New gTLDs
3.2 Which gTLDs to Create
3.3 Existing gTLDs

4. REGISTRIES AND REGISTRARS
4.1 Definition of Terms
4.2 Choosing gTLD Registrars

5. REGISTRY OPERATION
5.1 Council of Registrars (CORE)
5.2 Existing gTLD Registrars
5.3 gTLD Repository
5.4 Second-Level Domains

6. OTHER NAME SPACES
6.1 ISO 3166 Country Codes
6.2 Trademark-specific Domain Name Spaces

7. SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS

8. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

9. REFERENCES

10. CONTACT

11. APPENDIX
11.1 Appendix A - SLD Application Requirements
11.2 Appendix B - SLD Renewal Application Requirements

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Top Level Domain (TLD) names provide the beginning of the Internet naming scheme. The International Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC, www.iahc.org) was formed to pursue enhancement in the administration and use of the "international" Top Level Domain name space (iTLD). After extensive discussions, including the use of public, Internet-based mailing lists, IAHC has decided the following:

1. INTRODUCTION

The International Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC) was formed at the initiative of the Internet Society, and at the request of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). IANA has responsibility for the maintenance of core administrative tables for Internet services, including "top level" domain names (TLD) and the delegation of their maintenance to appropriate agencies. The IAHC is tasked with developing administration and management enhancements for the general class of TLDs that have been called "international".

This proposal represents the preliminary recommendation of a committee formed to resolve a difficult and long-standing set of challenges in the Domain Name System, namely enhancing its use while attempting to juggle such concerns as administrative fairness, operational robustness and protection of intellectual property. Each component of this topic offers a wide range of solutions. Each possible solution has a supporting constituency.

Necessarily, any proposal attempting to navigate the many constraints must represent equally many compromises. This proposal is offered with the hope and expectation that the Internet community will appreciate that necessity and offer constructive suggestions for improvements which maintain the reasonable balance attempted by this proposal.

The proposal will be modified according to feedback received from the Internet community.

1.1 IAHC Charter

(This is the original charter, unmodified by later IAHC positions and views.)

The Domain Name System (DNS) is an essential component in the Internet's operational infrastructure. Designed for locating machines on the Internet, it maps between their human-friendly names and their transport (IP) addresses. Machine names are a series of textual fields, representing a registration and lookup hierarchy. Each registry in the hierarchy is delegated authority from the registry above. A number of "Top Level Domain" (TLD) registries already exist: one for each country, and a small number which are international (iTLD) such as .com, .org and .net. For more than ten years the set of TLD registries was stable and sufficient. The recent explosive commercialization of the Internet has produced a requirement for enhanced assignment procedures. A complicating factor is that the human-friendly quality of domain name strings has also made them commercially valuable. IAHC is an international multi-organization effort for specifying and implementing policies and procedures relating to iTLD.

Membership in IAHC comprises a broad range of legal, administrative, operations and technical constituencies. Representatives come from organizations that sponsor TLD administration, sponsor similar international activities, review and define relevant international legal matters, provide Internet service, and develop Internet technologies and products.

Proper operation of TLDs is essential for the smooth running of the Internet. This includes both administration of domain name assignments, as well as the real-time behavior of the distributed lookup service which achieves DNS mappings for client software. Further, the topic of iTLDs has become controversial and includes potentially large financial implications. For its specification effort, IAHC will operate in the style of an Internet standards "design team", formulating criteria and procedures but seeking review, modification and consensus from the rest of the Internet community. Internet standards are developed according to the principal of "rough consensus" which means a strongly dominant sense of preference within the community that is seeking to achieve forward progress, in spite of differing opinions.

The DNS is an international resource and IAHC will at all times operate with that perspective. IAHC specification effort will address legal, administrative, technical and operational concerns, with particular attention to the questions of fairness and functional stability. IAHC will attempt to define procedures which are as simple, fair and direct as possible, resolving the minimum required issues. In order to provide timely results, IAHC will focus initially on the issues of highest priority.

1.2 Goals and Milestones

Nov 11, 96Publish IAHC charter & press release
Solicit near-term iTLD policy & procedure proposals
Dec 19, 96IAHC proposal available for public review
Jan 17, 97Last day to submit reviews of proposal
Jan 31, 97Near-term iTLD Policies & Procedures published
Implementation group formed for reviews and awards
Feb 28, 97Deadline for applications according to new policies and procedures
Mar 15, 97 [estimated]Initial awards according to new policies and procedures

1.3 Public Participation

The IAHC invites comments on its proposal. General discussion should take place on the iahc-discuss@iahc.org mailing list. Formal comments may be sent to iahc-submit@iahc.org; these comments will be posted to the IAHC web page. Additional material, as well as instructions for subscribing to the IAHC mailing list, are located at <http://www.iahc.org>.

2. NATURE OF TLDS

The current DNS Top level domains (TLD) are considered to be divided into several classes: ISO 3166 country codes (.fr, .ca, .au, etc.), sometimes referred to as national TLDs, and so-called international TLDs (.com, .org, .net and .int). In addition, special, US-specific historical cases exist, such as .mil, .gov and .edu.

IAHC believes that the term "international" is currently misapplied. IAHC considers the DNS as comprising the following three types of top-level domain names:

2.1 National

Each country is assigned a top level domain name that corresponds with its ISO 3166 country code (for example, .au for Australia, .ch for Switzerland, .jp for Japan, .us for United States, etc.). The .edu, mil, and .gov are special domains, historically used by the U.S. IAHC recognizes the national interests of sovereign nations in setting policies for these country code TLDs.

2.2 International

IAHC adopts the view that international top-level domains are those which are dedicated exclusively to entities which have a truly international character. The most reasonable example of this is the ".int" TLD, which includes, inter alia, international intergovernmental organizations.

The term "international" inherently refers to actions, or recognition, of multiple national governments. For example, a corporation is not an international corporation merely because it exports products to other countries.

While it is not believed that there need to be any additional top level domains in this class of TLDs, at this time, an appropriate international organization, such as the ITU, should make recommendations concerning the development and enrichment of the truly international domain name space.

2.3 Generic

RFC 1591 [Post94] refers to the TLDs .com, .org and .net as "generic" TLDs (gTLD). IAHC believes that this is the only accurate characterization of these TLDs. For example, these TLDs are, in practice, open to anyone who lives anywhere (which is why, perhaps, they have come to be referred to as "international".) However, there is no criterion that an applicant for a domain name in any of these spaces act in an international capacity. For example, a local entity with no activity outside of the local area (much less outside of the country) can obtain a domain name in these TLDs.

The term "generic" TLD is used by IAHC to refer to a TLD in which any entity from any country may register, whether or not it has an international character, without having to conform to any particular criteria.

Recognizing the de facto present situation, IAHC recommends that the existing special criteria should be lifted from .org and .net and they should be considered to be gTLDs.

3. GTLDS

3.1 Whether to Create New gTLDs

There is a body of opinion that suggests that there is no fundamental need for expanding the top level domain space with further entries. The basis for this view includes the observation that the existing top level domain space provides some level of "overflow" through the existing, widely-adopted, second level domain structure within the ISO 3166 national domain spaces. It further includes the claim that generic top level domains which expressly overlapped with the most popular of the existing gTLDs, .com, would encourage immediate duplication of registration in these additional name spaces, further exacerbating the current issues associated with the utility and viability of the DNS structure within the Internet.

Equally there is a body of opinion which suggests that there is a need to create alternative entry points into the DNS within the gTLD space. The basis for this view includes the observation that creation of such additional gTLDs would allow a form of natural competition with existing gTLDs, creating alternate entry points for access to the gTLD domain space, and that such natural forms of competition will assist in preventing the operators of any particular gTLD from assuming the role of a monopoly provider with the associated inherent risks of monopoly-based market trading practices.

A decision to undertake creation of new gTLDs requires balancing the relative attributes and risks of each approach, with the objective of ensuring coherence, utility and efficient accessibility of the DNS name space to the constituency of the Internet.

The unique nature of the gTLD space, and the current exclusive, operational profile of the existing gTLD space in terms of their respective administrative arrangements does pose a significant strategic risk to the overall objectives as outlined above. Given that this gTLD space is one which is expressly outside the ISO 3166 derived name spaces naturally assigned to national bodies, the assessment of this risk factor was considered to be a major determinant issue to the question of whether to create further gTLDs.

IAHC has decided to create further gTLDs as a means of increasing the level of competitive supply and access to the gTLD space for the global Internet community.

In addition IAHC has decided to ensure that the new gTLDs are all to be operated in a shared fashion across a number of domain operators. This is regarded as a secondary mechanism to ensure that each of these additional gTLDs are operated in an environment of a competitive market for access to these name spaces, and the same checks and balances of the competitive inter-gTLD access space also apply to the intra-gTLD space through this mechanism.

Implementation of IAHC specifications necessarily carries risks. Given that the DNS is critical to the operation of the Internet, IAHC calls for initial changes to be of a relatively modest scale, with later evaluation and modification as appropriate.

It is noted by IAHC that competitive shared access to any domain registry is a useful market control mechanism to reduce the risk of monopolistic trading practices. This is a core principle in IAHC's decision for administration and management of gTLD space. IAHC further recommends this policy be considered by the relevant ISO 3166 TLD national authorities and administrations.

3.2 Which gTLDs to Create

It is noted that an immediate large increase of gTLDs does increase the risk of impacting the coherence of the overall gTLD space, through increasing the level of complexity in the process of determining which is the appropriate gTLD for any end consumer of these services to choose. Therefore, IAHC will adopt an initially conservative approach to the number of additional gTLDs, through the initial expansion in the first annual round to a total of ten gTLDs. This entails the creation of seven new gTLDs.

These new gTLD's will consist of letter strings of three to five letters each. IAHC has also decided that each gTLD should have general, contextual meaning, i.e. the gTLD should suggest a connection with the Internet, with business or with personal uses.

The initial seven gTLD's will be specified by IAHC. Comments from the Internet community and other stakeholders in response to this specific proposal will be considered.

3.2 Existing gTLDs

The IAHC recommends that all existing gTLDs be shared in the same fashion as mentioned in section 3.1.

4. REGISTRIES AND REGISTRARS

4.1 Definition of Terms

A REGISTRY comprises the roles and activities involved in the administration of a portion of the Domain name space. With respect to the work of IAHC, a registry pertains to a single gTLD and encompasses all of the services needed for assignment and maintenance of that TLD and its registrations.

A REGISTRAR is the entity which is authorized to enter and modify a registry's data, based on customer contact.

A REPOSITORY contains the primary (master) data for a registry. It is important to note that a repository is NOT part of the operational (real-time) DNS, but rather provides records to DNS primary servers, through regular updates. Repository data is often made available through the WHOIS name service.

A registry may have multiple registrars. A registrar may be authorized for multiple registries. In determining the numbers of registrars for a registry, a fundamental issue is one of trust and cooperation. If multiple registrars share a registry and they have a fully cooperative relationship, the repository for the registry can be maintained using fully distributed data base technology.

If the registrars for a registry have a mutually suspicious relationship -- as is typical in competitive business circumstances -- then the repository for that registry needs to be operated by a trusted, independent third party, with simple rules of access. Particularly appropriate rules include fair use and assigning precedence for competing requests on first come, first served basis.

Oversight responsibility for a registry rests with a STEWARD. If the registry is a monopoly, the steward, the registrar, and the operator of the repository are typically one in the same. When multiple, competing registrars exist for a registry, it is appropriate to have independent stewardship. This ensures operation of the registry as a public trust for the Internet. It assesses performance of the repository and the registrars, enacting changes as necessary.

4.2 Choosing gTLD Registrars

The ultimate goal for registries operating in the gTLD space is that any qualified entity may be a registrar, and that every registrar shares responsibility for registering domain names in all gTLDs. Noting its concern for managing change to a critical Internet resource, IAHC believes that the number of additional Registrars authorized in the next year should be limited to between twenty and thirty, with additional Registrars added at the rate of twenty to thirty per year, subject to an annual review of the efficient functioning of the system. The limit on the number of Registrars should be completely removed when the capacity to register domain names in the present gTLD .com, .org and .net domains become shared among all Registrars.

In order to ensure equitable international participation among Registrars, IAHC has determined that a fixed number of Registrars will be initially allocated equally to each of the six (6) ITU designated geographical world zones (X.121 world zones 2-7); the current list being available at <http://www.itu.int/intreg/itu-zones.html>.

The selection of registries in a region will be by lottery among qualified applicants. Registrar rights are non-transferable to other entities.

IAHC will establish the qualifications required of each applicant to become a registrar. These qualifications will be objective and will be subject to independent confirmation. The application forms for Registrars will be prepared by IAHC, and will include the following provisions:

  1. Each application must be accompanied by a US$ 20,000 fee [estimated]. This fee will be refunded in the event an applicant is found to be not qualified or the applicant is not selected in the lottery process;

  2. Each applicant will be responsible for payment of an appropriate fee for a report by an independent business and credit reporting agency, designated by IAHC, which will confirm the validity of information submitted by the applicant; this fee is non-refundable;

  3. Each successful applicant will be required to be a signatory to the Council of Registrars Memorandum of Understanding (CORE-MoU); and

  4. Each applicant will be required to submit any disputes regarding the selection process to binding arbitration in a location to be specified by IAHC.

  5. Applicants must commit to sharing all gTLDs.

  6. Applications are limited to one per organization. An organization is any unit whose legal and financial responsibilities are shared.

5. REGISTRY OPERATION

5.1 Council of Registrars (CORE)

IAHC delegates stewardship for the set of gTLDs to the Council of Registrars (CORE), comprising the multiple, competing gTLD registrars. All gTLDs are shared among all member registrars.

CORE will be established through a Memorandum of Understanding (CORE-MoU). The IAHC will draft the framework for CORE-MoU with input from the Internet community and other stakeholders. The CORE-MoU provides the necessary contractual, legal, oversight and public policy framework under which CORE and the individual Registrars must operate. Internet Registrars are mandatory signatories to the CORE-MoU. Other signatories include other stakeholders and oversight bodies in the Internet name space.

The CORE-MoU will stipulate that the Internet top level domain space is regarded as a public resource and subject to the public trust. Therefore, any administration, use and/or evolution of the Internet TLD space is a public policy issue and must be carried out in an open and public manner in the interests and service of the public.

The Board of trustees for CORE will ensure that gTLDs are administered and operated in a public and open manner which balances the commercial interests of registries with the public policy interests of the Internet domain name space.. The Board shall comprise: Half elected from member organizations, and half external to CORE, having no direct entanglement with CORE-related activities.

CORE provides first-level oversight and coordination among those registrars, ensuring consistent service by registrars and fairness among them. The details of its management will be determined by CORE Board of trustees. CORE will develop procedures for handling disputes among Registrars and/or other signatories preferably by binding arbitration. Creation of any future gTLDs is under the aegis and policy coordination of the CORE. CORE will make available public reports and statistics available about registration activities during fixed reporting periods.

CORE will be a not-for-profit association, funded through member fees, on a cost-recovery basis. Fees for membership will be determined by the Board of trustees.

5.2 Existing gTLD Registrars

Registrars for existing gTLDs are encouraged to join CORE and abide by CORE principles and rules, unifying the handling of all gTLDs and obtaining equal benefits with other gTLD registries.

5.3 gTLD Repository

CORE will contract with an independent and neutral third-party for operation of the shared gTLD repository data base (gDB). The specific details of gDB subcontracting and operation will be determined by CORE.

Members of CORE will have equal access to the repository data base. Allocation of SLD registrations is made on a first-come/first-served basis among the registries.

5.4 Second-Level Domains

SLD application

IAHC will specify the information to be required in all applications for SLDs under gTLDs. It is desirable that a domain name application include sufficient information regarding the applicant and the applicant's intended use of the domain name to ensure applicant accountability and to ensure that sufficient information is available to enable trademark owners to assess the need for a challenge to the proposed SLD domain. The application must therefore include sufficient contact and intended use information, appointment of an agent for service of process and an agreement to jurisdiction in the event of trademark litigation. Appendix A, attached, includes the information that must be included in a SLD application. Applications submitted electronically must include state of the art electronic identification; written applications must be signed by the applicant, if an individual, or by an officer or other legally authorized representative if the applicant is an entity.

Renewal and non-use

To promote accountability, discourage extortion and minimize obsolete entries, SLD assignments must be renewed annually. Appendix B, attached, includes the information that must be included in a renewal application. Renewal applications submitted electronically must include state of the art electronic identification; written renewal applications must be signed by the applicant, if an individual, or by an officer or other legally authorized representative if the applicant is an entity.

In addition to requiring annual renewal, CORE shall develop policies to ensure the recovery of sub-domains which no longer have an authoritative source (lame delegations).

Trademark concerns for SLDs

The allocation and use of SLDs has raised concerns with respect to their relation to trademarks. It is recognized that trademark owners have a legitimate interest, under national trademark law, in policing against infringement, and that SLDs are capable of infringing trademark rights. Disputes can arise between trademark owners and "extortionists" - those who deliberately obtain a SLD that mirrors a well-known mark or name for the purpose of selling it to the trademark owner or the highest bidder - and between trademark owners and holders of SLDs for legitimate business or personal use. However, trademark considerations have not, for the most part, been taken into account in the context of SLD allocation, which has led, as electronic commerce has exploded, to a predictable collision between SLD allocation and national trademark law. There is no single, universal international law of trademark, so it is not possible to reserve disputes involving trademark and domain names to an international body applying a globally recognized body of law.

One gTLD registrar has attempted to address this problem by inserting itself as an arbiter of disputes between trademark owners and SLD holders: The registrar will put an SLD on hold at the behest of the owner of a trademark registration certificate if the holder of an "identical" SLD, once challenged, cannot produce its own, trumping trademark certificate or otherwise establish that its use of the domain predates either the effective date or first use date of trademark registration. This well-intentioned policy, which has generated significant controversy, unjustifiably confers upon a non-judicial body the discretion to essentially grant an injunction against continued use of a SLD, without any adjudication of the merits of the trademark owner's claim against the domain holder. Such an approach is inconsistent with basic tenets of trademark law and principles of equity and fair play. The dispute policy unfairly burdens the domain holder - who may actually have trademark rights superior to those of the challenging trademark registrant.

IAHC seeks a policy in which registrars are involved as little as possible in trademark disputes. It is recognized that there is a substantial interest in minimizing litigation, including litigation against registries, and in encouraging resolution of legitimate disputes prior to the time that significant investment is made in a domain name. In order that domain name applicants/holders may be held appropriately accountable for any infringement of legal rights, sufficient contact and context information should be available, and there should be sufficient public notice before a domain name is assigned, to facilitate dispute resolution.

60-day publication period

In light of the legitimate interests of domain name holders and trademark owners, and in the overall interests of consistency and fair play, IAHC strongly believes all gTLD registries and ISO country code registries should, therefore, publish applications for SLDs, for a period of sixty (60) days prior to assigning the requested SLD to the applicant. Such publication should take place on a publicly available, publicized web site and include the SLD and the contact and use information contained in the application (see Appendix A).

However, in view of the fact that an existing gTLD registrar currently registers SLDs without a waiting period, the requirement that gTLD registries institute a 60 day publication period will not be effective until that registrar changes its policy to include the 60 day publication period. In the interim, other gTLD registries are encouraged, but not required, to use this 60 day waiting period. Once that registrar agrees to the 60 day publication period, CORE will implement the 60 day publication period immediately across the other gTLD registries.

Immediate SLDs

To ensure immediate availability of some domain names, it is recommended that gTLD registries offer "random alphanumeric" domain names which require no waiting period.

6. OTHER NAME SPACES

6.1 ISO 3166 Country Codes

Functional SLDs under ISO 3166

It is noted that in many ISO 3166 TLD national name spaces the original generic Internet top level name structure has been adopted as the second level name structure, or a functionally equivalent variant, sometimes using the national language as the source of the appropriate abbreviations.

Examples of functional generic name structures adopted typically have the following components:

IAHC believes that this is a widely understood functional structure, and notes that this structure has not to date been adopted within the ISO 3166 country code ".us". IAHC further believes that a major source of demand pressure on the current gTLD space is based on the historical origin of this space and the subsequent introduction of the ".us" country code which does not include the commonly adopted functional second level name structure as described above.

IAHC strongly recommends that the domain administrator for .us undertake further delegations along the lines of the functional SLD structure, and recommends this functional structure to other ISO 3166 national name space administrators as a widely understood structure.

Addition of .tm.<iso3166-code>

IAHC recommends that the functional name .tm.<iso3166-code>, or a local language equivalent thereof, be added to the functional name set documented in section 6.1.1 of this document, above, as described more fully in section 6.2 of this document (see below).

Notification period within ISO 3166 name spaces

In further considering the existing operation of the ISO 3166 second level domain spaces, IAHC recommends that the administrators of these spaces add a fixed 60 day notification period between application and delegation as a means of reducing the subsequent levels of litigation within these name spaces, as per the related recommendations in section 4 of this document relating to gTLDs.

Addition of .nui.<iso3166-code>

IAHC notes that the implication of the recommendation in section 5.4 is that there will be a consequent market demand for domain names which are available within a more rapid period than 60 days. IAHC recommends that the administrators of ISO3166 name spaces consider the addition of a functional name space, proposed to be a network user identifier: .nui.<iso3166-code>" . The characteristic of this space is that it would be filled by randomly generated, meaningless alphanumeric strings, available within a short period after application, in order to provide an alternative mechanism to the process of obtaining a specified name which may include a 60 day notification period.

6.2 Trademark-specific Domain Name Spaces

IAHC believes that the establishment of trademark-specific domain names is desirable to allow for voluntary registration of such names by trademark owners who either are precluded, by the first-come first-served nature of current gTLD registration, from otherwise obtaining such domain names or who otherwise choose to obtain a trademark specific domain name.

In addition, a trademark-specific domain space would provide an assurance that the domain name reflects a subsisting trademark registration.

IAHC recognizes that there are both national and international characteristics of the current trademark system. Therefore, it would be desirable to have both country-related trademark domain name spaces, and an international trademark-specific domain name space, to reflect the dual national/international aspects of the current trademark system.

Some principles concerning trademark-specific domain names

In a trademark-specific domain name space, each trademark owner should be entitled to a unique domain name which contains its trademark, even if there are multiple owners of registrations for the identical trademark (for example, for use in conjunction with different goods and services, or registrations in different countries.)

A formal check of the ownership and validity of the trademark registration on which the domain name application is based would be required.

It should be made clear that there would be no obligation on the part of any trademark owner to register in any of the trademark-specific domain name spaces, or to be listed in any associated trademark-domain name directory. In addition, there would be no negative legal consequences to a trademark owner for not having a trademark-specific domain name or not being listed in a trademark-domain name directory. In particular, the existence of a trademark-specific domain name space does not imply that trademark rights in other top-level domain name spaces are negatively affected in any way.

National trademark domain name space

Some trademark owners have registrations in one country only. For these, a national trademark-specific sub-domain space might be desirable.

Therefore, IAHC recommends that the domain name registration authority in each country, in consultation with the relevant trademark registration authority in that country, create a trademark-specific sub-domain within the ISO 3166 country code top-level domain. Such a sub-domain could take the form ".tm.<iso3166-code>". (Note that .tm.fr already exists in France, and can be used as a model.)

It is especially recommended that the registration authority in the .us domain space consult with the relevant U.S. government agencies to examine the creation of a .tm.us domain name space for owners of U.S. trademark registrations who may desire to register in such a space.

Further, it would be appropriate, in the spirit of international harmonization, for a relevant international trademark organization, for example, WIPO, to coordinate, in cooperation with the relevant national trademark offices, the generation of common principles for creating and administering national trademark-domain name spaces.

International trademark domain name space

While it is recognized that there is not yet an international trademark registration which is, of itself, valid for multiple countries in all regions of the world, it is also recognized that there exist international standards for trademarks, and that additional standards are being developed, and more will be developed in the future. In fact, accelerated development of international trademark standards may be driven by new technologies such as the Internet.

Many trademark owners obtain trademark registrations for the same mark in a number of countries. Many others apply for trademark registrations through the international application/registration system administered by WIPO -- there are currently over 300,000 active international registrations in this system. Still others obtain registrations in regional trademark offices which provide a single registration that covers multiple countries, such as the trademark office of the European Union. IAHC recognizes that trademark owners such as these might prefer a trademark-domain space that is international in nature.

IAHC therefore recommends that an international trademark-specific domain space be created, and recommends to the organization responsible for the administration of the ".int" TLD that it delegate to an appropriate international trademark administration organization, such as WIPO, the responsibility for the creation and administration of an international trademark-specific domain name space, under the international sub-domain ".tm.int". The details concerning registration in that domain space should be developed in cooperation with the relevant trademark offices.

User-friendly directory

It appears that a domain name in a trademark-specific domain space would have to have an element, such as a random number tag, to accommodate the required criterion that a unique domain name should be available to every trademark owner, even if there are many different owners of the identical trademark.

Since such a domain name may not be particularly user-friendly, IAHC recommends that each trademark-specific domain name space should be accompanied by an on-line, user-friendly directory, which would allow a user who enters a trademark to easily find the associated web page. The user-friendliness of such a directory could be enhanced by including the associated logo in the directory.

It may also be found desirable to establish a single directory which covers all of the trademark-specific domain name spaces (including country code spaces and the international space), and perhaps even to open the directory to trademark owners who have domain names in other TLDs but who wish to be listed in the trademark-domain name directory.

7. SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS

The Domain Name Service is essential to the smooth operation of the Internet. Changes to the structure or style of DNS operation therefore carry considerable risk. The specification offered here attempts to make substantial changes to the administration and operation of gTLD names, but limits the scale of those changes during an initial, "experimental" period, permitting expansion of the changes as experience dictates.

8. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The IAHC's efforts have greatly benefited from extensive on-line discussion, both within the committee and on public discussion lists. Also, the Committee's open request for proposals resulted in numerous submissions from which some concepts and details in IAHC's proposal were adapted. The current draft specification is the result of integrating the discussions and proposals, seeking a fair and practical balance.

9. REFERENCES

[Post94] Postel, J. , Domain Name System Structure and Delegation, RFC 1591, March 1994.

10. CONTACT

Sally M. Abel, is a partner in the law firm of Fenwick and West and chairs the Internet Subcommittee of the International Trademark Association (INTA).
Fenwick & West
2 Palo Alto Square
Palo Alto, CA 94036
<sma@fwpa.com>
Phone: 415-494-0600
Fax: 415-494-8022

Dave Crocker, a director of the Internet Mail Consortium, is a principal with Brandenburg Consulting.
675 Spruce Dr.
Sunnyvale, CA 94086 USA
<dcrocker@imc.org>
Phone: +1 408 246 8253
Fax: +1 408 249 6205

Donald M. Heath, is president and CEO of the Internet Society and chairs IAHC.
12020 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 210
Reston, VA 20191-3429
<heath@isoc.org>
Phone: 703/648-9888
Fax: 703/648-9887

Geoff Huston is the technical manager of Australia's Telstra Internet.
5/490 Northbourne Ave
Dickson, ACT 2609
Australia
<gih@telstra.net>
Phone: +61 6 208 1908
Fax: +61 6 248 6165

David W. Maher, a partner at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, is a registered patent attorney.
8000 Sears Tower
Chicago IL 60606
<76010.2523@compuserve.com>
Phone: 312/876-8055
Fax: 312/876-7934

Perry E. Metzger is president of Piermont Information Systems Inc.
160 Cabrini Blvd., Suite #2
New York, NY 10033
<perry@piermont.com>

Jun Murai is an associate professor on the Faculty of Environmental Information at Keio University.

Hank Nussbacher, an independent networking consultant, currently works with IBM Israel.
Rechov Weizmann 2
Tel Aviv
Israel
<hank@ibm.net.il>
Phone: +972-3-6978852
Fax: +972-3-6978115

Robert Shaw is an advisor on Global Information Infrastructure (GII) issues at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
Place des Nations
1211 Geneva 20
Switzerland
<robert.shaw@itu.int>
Phone: +41 22 730 5338
Fax: +41 22 730 5881

George Strawn is with the US National Science Foundation (NSF) and chairs the Federal Networking Council.
National Science Foundation, Rm 1175
Arlinton, VA 22230
USA
<gstrawn@nsf.gov>
Phone: 703 306 1950
Fax: 703 306 0621

Albert Tramposch is senior legal counsellor at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva.
34, chemin des Colombettes
1211 Geneva 20
Switzerland
<atramposch@mcimail.com>
Phone: (41 22) 730-9660
Fax : (41 22) 733-5371

Committee outside counsel is Stuart Levi, a partner in Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

11. APPENDIX

11.1 Appendix A - SLD Application Requirements

Every application for assignment of a SLD must include the following elements (incomplete applications must be returned to the applicant for completion):

  1. Applicant's name, business or residential address, email address, fax and phone number(s).
  2. The state or country of incorporation or partnership (if applicable).
  3. The name and address of a designated agent for service of process where the registrar is located, which may be the applicant in the case of an individual. (The applicant may designate the registrar as the agent for service of process.)
  4. A sworn statement by the individual applicant or by an officer or general partner of a corporate or partnership applicant:
    1. that there is a bona fide intent to use the domain name publicly within 60 days of registration, and a bona fide intent to continue such use in the foreseeable future;
    2. that the domain name will be used for [fill in the blank, e.g., "for a web site to advertise applicant's candy manufacturing business"]. This may be a broad statement and is not intended in any way to restrict actual use. However, to the extent that a commercial use is intended, this statement should identify the industry in which the use is intended to be made and should indicate which of the following uses will be made: web site, email, bulletin board and/other (describe);
    3. that the applicant believes that the intended use of the domain name will not infringe any rights of any other party;
    4. that the reason for requesting this particular domain name is that it conforms to [check one of the following]:

___ applicant's company name or variation thereof

___ applicant's trademark or variation thereof

___ individual applicant's name or variation thereof

___ other (provide full explanation)

  1. that the applicant submits to the personal and subject matter jurisdiction and venue of a competent tribunal in the country where the registrar resides for purposes of any action brought under trademark law, unfair competition laws, or similar/related laws arising out of actual or intended use of the domain name applied for; and applicant waives all rights to challenge such personal jurisdiction, subject matter jurisdiction and/or venue.

11.2 Appendix B - SLD Renewal Application Requirements

Every application for renewal of a SLD must include the following four elements (incomplete applications must be returned to the applicant for completion):

  1. Applicant's name, business or residential address, email address, fax and phone number(s).
  2. The state or country of incorporation or partnership (if applicable).
  3. The name and address of the designated agent for service of process if there has been a change since the initial application or the last renewal.
  4. A sworn statement by the individual applicant or by an officer or general partner of a corporate or partnership applicant:

    (a) that the domain name has actually been used for [fill in the blank, e.g. "for a web site to advertise applicant's candy manufacturing business"]. This may be a broad statement and is not intended in any way to restrict actual use. However, to the extent that a commercial use is being made, this statement should identify the industry in which the use is being made and should indicate which of the following uses are being made: web site, email, bulletin board and/or other (describe);

    (b) that the applicant believes that the actual use of the domain name does not infringe any rights of any other party.

[end of document]