Forty-five civil society groups concerned about efforts to ratchet-up the enforcement of intellectual property rights beyond healthy levels sent a letter to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) this week to their express concern on WIPO's continued promotion of a "maximalist" agenda with respect to intellectual property rights. The civil society letter reminded WIPO that this approach undermine's development dimensions and subordinates fundamental rights including freedom of expression on the Internet. The public interest groups cite the lack of transparency in WIPO decisions and its lack of balancing other public interest concerns in its approach.
"There has been wide coverage of ICANNâ€™s decision this week to adopt a new process for creating new global Top Level Domains (gTLDs).... Civil libertarians supporting Susan Crawfordâ€™s line argue that if governments are able to pressure ICANN into prohibiting .jihad (which has perfectly non-violent meanings in Islam as well as the terrorist connotations it has recently acquired in the West), then can a prohibition on .falun-gong be far behind? ..."
Legal Briefing Paper from Law Professor Christine Haight Farley on GNSO Recommendations for Domain Name Policy
Before I make observations specific to these recommendations, I would like to offer some general remarks about the overall incongruence between trademarks and domain names. It is important to note at the outset this general lack of equivalence between trademark law and domain name policy. For instance, trademark law the world over is fundamentally based on the concept of territoriality. Thus trademark law seeks to protect regionally and market-based marks without implication for the protection or availability of that mark in another region. In contrast, domain names have global reach, are accessible everywhere and have implications for speech around the world. ...
"...The Transitional Review Mechanism under Section 18 of the Protocol on the Accession of the Peopleâ€™s Republic of China has been an important means to raise concerns about Chinaâ€™s implementation of the TRIPS Agreement. This process has been instrumental in helping to understand the levels of protection of intellectual property rights in China, and provides a forum for addressing the concerns of U.S. interests in this process. The United States has been active in seeking answers to questions on a wide range of intellectual property matters and in raising concerns about enforcement of intellectual property rights. The United States also continued to seek satisfactory responses to a formal request submitted to China in October 2005 seeking additional enforcement-related information pursuant to Article 63.3 of the TRIPS Agreement. During 2006, the TRIPS Council undertook reviews of the implementing legislation of Congo and Qatar, in addition to the above-referenced review of China. ..."
There are two principles that influence the interpretation and application of TRIPS and that must be mentioned here: the principle of national treatment and the most favoured nation principle.