Five Key Takeaways From ICANN 50 in London

The 50th Meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) took place in London from June 22–26. This marked the first time that an ICANN meeting has been held in London, and also resulted in the largest attendance record for an ICANN meeting, with more than 3,300 individuals registered in attendance. Despite what could be characterized as organized chaos on the ground during the meeting, the following five topics and takeaways began to emerge for brand owners and new generic top-level domain (gTLD) applicants—topics which have only continued to blossom and garner further attention in month following the formal conclusion of the meeting.

1. Geographic Terms Trump Trademarks, According to the Argentina Proposal -

In essence, the Argentina proposal seeks to block at all levels of the domain name system, "terms with national, cultural, geographic and religious significance,"; including "regions of countries, regions of continents, sub-regions of countries, rivers [and] mountains, among others …"; subject to registration through relevant national approval. The proposal adopts a highly aggressive posture toward inevitable conflicts between natural, cultural, geographic and religious terms on the one hand and trademarks on the other hand, no doubt in response to ongoing disputes within ICANN over the .AMAZON and .PATAGONIA new gTLD applications.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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