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[Comment-Ip] Comments on WIPO Report
The Prudential Insurance Company of America Maribel Figueredo
Legal Department Associate General Counsel,
2 Gateway Center
Newark, NJ 07102
Tel. No. 973-367-7120
Fax No. 973-367-7120
As the Intellectual Property Counsel for The Prudential Insurance Company of
America, I appreciate
the opportunity to submit these comments to ICANN in connection with the World
Organization (WIPO) Final Report on intellectual property issues arising out of
the registration of domain names.
Prudential is anxious for the development of solutions to the problems of
Internet infringement and consumer confusion on the Internet. ICANN should
carefully consider the recommendations of WIPO and its Panel of Experts.
One of the recommendations which is of primary importance is the concept that
contact information for domain name registrants be accurate and available in
real time so that trademark owners can investigate potential infringements and
promptly enforce their rights. WIPO
?s endorsement of the concepts of: (1)
public access to contact information; (2) accurate contact details (with breach
of the agreement for noncompliance); and (3) prepayment of registration fees are
critical and must be supported. ICANN should not adopt any procedure allowing
anonymous domain name registration without extensive further study, as suggested
by WIPO. It must be recognized that permitting anonymity ? even if limited to a
future non-commercial name space ? can create serious intellectual piracy
concerns that must first be properly addressed.
Although the critics of the WIPO Report have been very vocal, ICANN cannot
ignore the fact that the Internet has become one of the easiest and most
wide-spread venues for deception of consumers and violation of valuable
intellectual property rights. By protecting the interests of legitimate
trademark owners, ICANN would also be protecting consumers from deception.
We also support the conclusion that new gTLDs should only be added in a slow and
controlled manner if all of WIPO's recommendations as proposed are adopted. The
introduction of new gTLDs should then be studied to see if infringements are
increasing and whether the WIPO mechanisms are working to protect intellectual
property rights and reduce the likelihood of consumer confusion.
Assistant General Counsel
The Prudential Insurance Company of America