Mar 262015
 

ICANN newgTLD auctions

As it moves ahead with its programme to resolve contention sets on new gTLD applications, ICANN has released the results of its two latest auctions.

Best earner was .ping, won by Ping Registry Provider, Inc. with a $1,501,000 bid.

German company mySRL GmbH won the right to operate .srl for $400,000.

Both were two-applicant auctions (past results show that the higher the number of applicants vying for a particular TLD, the higher the price that TLD ends up going for).

According to ICANN, the task of sorting out contention sets (i.e. groups where more than one applicant has applied for the same string) is almost complete, with 197 of 233 cases now resolved.

Most of those sorted themselves out, either through private auctions or direct negotiation. Only 13 contention sets have gone as far as ICANN’s public auctions, which is the way Google won .app last month for a record breaking $25 million.

The next ICANN auction is planned for April 29, 2015. TLDs .map, .living, .search and .fun will be up for grabs.

Mar 202015
 

DevosLes noms et prénoms d’une vedette de cinéma décédée peuvent-ils être reconnus comme une marque dans le cadre de la procédure extra-judiciaire de résolution des litiges sur les noms de domaine UDRP (Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy), alors même qu’ils ne sont pas enregistrés en tant que marque ?

A en croire, le cas de raymond.devos.com, la réponse est oui. Le cabinet d’avocats Fidal, qui accompagnait la Fondation Raymond Devos dans ce litige, se félicite d’une “décision inédite en matière d’action UDRP”. La décision a été rendue le 17 février 2015. Depuis le 16 mars, la propriété du nom de domaine au centre de ce litige a été transférée à la Fondation Raymond Devos.

“Cette affaire présentait une double difficulté juridique,” explique Alexandre Nappey, l’avocat en charge de cette affaire pour Fidal. “Démontrer l’existence d’une marque non enregistrée sur le nom Raymond Devos au jour de l’enregistrement du nom de domaine litigieux en 1999, et justifier que la marque appartenait à la Fondation Raymond Devos, créée selon les dernières volontés de l’artiste en 2007 et reconnue d’utilité publique par décret en 2009.”

“Jusqu’à présent, seules des décisions concernant des personnalités anglo-saxonnes (Julia Roberts, Michael Crichton notamment) avaient eu l’occasion de reconnaitre le statut de marque non enregistrée, ce qui s’expliquait dans le système juridique anglo-saxon, dit de common law, qui reconnait les marques d’usage,” rappelle le cabinet Fidal. “Or, en droit français, un régime civiliste, le droit de marque ne s’acquiert en principe que par l’enregistrement. Toutefois, une décision ancienne avait reconnu de tels droits à la comédienne Isabelle Adjani, une affaire concernant une personnalité de son vivant.”

Mar 132015
 

ID-100276758

.com operator Verisign’s latest report puts global domain names at a total of 288 million, 4 million more than the previous quarter. Overall, the Internet’s namespace grew by 16.9 million names in 2014, a 6.2% increase.

Comparatively, the rate of growth is higher for country codes. Total ccTLD (country code Top Level Domain) numbers were at 134 million at the end of last year, an 8.7 % increase. Tokelau’s free .tk remains the biggest ccTLD by registration volume, with .de (Germany) following and .cn (China) in third ahead of .uk (United Kingdom), .ru (Russia), .nl (Holland), .eu (Europe), .br (Brazil), .au (Australia) and .fr (France).

Total numbers for .com stood at 115.6 million on December 31, 2014, whilst .net had 15 million names. Together, .com and .net put on 8.2 million names in Q4 2014, exactly the same growth they had experienced a year earlier in Q4 2013.

2014 ended with 478 new gTLDs (generic Top Level Domain) in the Internet root and a total of 3.6 domain names registered in those new suffixes. That’s 2.3 % of the gTLD space.

Lastly, Verisign claims that 2014 closed with approximately 40% of the planet connected to the Internet.

Mar 122015
 

Whois

The question of WHOIS, the database system that houses registrant data for domain names, is a recurring hot topic.

Registrants are generally wary of having data like their phone numbers or email addresses published in a public database just because they want a domain name. Law enforcement agencies want to be able to see data when domain names are part of criminal activities. Lawyers and brand owners want the same thing when faced with potential prior rights infringements. And national data protection agencies want to ensure that individual registrants are not giving up data they shouldn’t have to.

As the UK registry, Nominet is consulting the community on “contact data collection and publication in the .UK WHOIS.”

The consultation is looking at the current .UK WHOIS opt-out policy, with a question on clarifying the eligibility criteria for registrants opting out of having their WHOIS data published.

Second main topic is privacy services where registrars will hide their customers’ data from the public WHOIS, generally for a price. The question being asked there is how, under such schemes, can registry rules still be upheld so that if there is a dispute, that data cannot be kept from the powers that be?

The public consultation runs until June 3, 2015.