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ANA Urges ICANN to Adopt Effective Mechanism for Limited Preventative Registrations (LPRs) as Part of New TLD Universe

Washington, DC January 15, 2013 – Concerned that the rights protections mechanisms currently in place are dangerously inadequate, the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) has urged ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) to adopt an effective mechanism for Limited Preventative Registrations (LPRs) as it considers proposals for enhancing trademark protection during the upcoming launch of new gTLDs.  ANA’s comments argue that a strong LPR mechanism is critical to addressing the serious problem of defensive registrations.   

Dan Jaffe, ANA Group Executive Vice President, stated: “The Internet community is on the verge of a Top Level Domain tsunami which will create a huge wave of risk for both businesses and consumers.  ICANN has proposed to add more than a thousand new gTLDs to the Internet without adequately addressing consumer protections or trademark rights protections.  ICANN must do the right thing and adopt LPRs to protect consumers, brand owners and the integrity of the Internet.”   

ANA’s letter notes the additional costs that will be imposed on brand owners with the new universe of gTLDs:  “As new gTLDs are introduced, the defensive registration approach – already a burden without a true benefit – will become unworkable, unmanageable and extraordinarily expensive.  The cost to brand owners (and thus consumers and others) to acquire defensive registrations across all the new domains could easily reach $7-$14 billion in sunrise and landrush acquisitions alone.  These costs are exclusive of the major consumer harms and other rampant abuses of trademarks that are thoroughly predictable.”

Jaffe stated: “While the LPR is powerful, it is still a limited protective measure that must be accompanied by other ICANN reforms.  In addition to the LPR, stakeholders and the Internet need a WHOIS database that is reliable and accurate; a more functional Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) system; and a compliance department at ICANN that will diligently pursue wrongdoers without fear or favor.”

ANA has been advocating for serious reforms in ICANN’s operations and rules for more than a year.  The international law enforcement community and consumer protection agencies have also called on ICANN to do much more.  Jaffe concluded: “Cybersquatting and fraud are rampant problems in the current universe of 22 TLDs.  ICANN has failed to build the effective protections that both consumers and brand owners deserve in the new world of more than a thousand TLDs.  We are on the verge of grave threats to the stability of the Internet, so now is the time for ICANN to act.”

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 About the ANA

Founded in 1910, the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) leads the marketing community by providing its members with insights, collaboration and advocacy.  ANA’s membership includes nearly 500 companies with 10,000 brands that collectively spend over $250 billion in marketing communications and advertising.  The ANA strives to communicate marketing best practices, lead industry initiatives, influence industry practices, manage industry affairs, and advance, promote and protect all advertisers and marketers.  For more information, visit www.ana.net, follow us on Twitter, join us on Facebook, or visit our YouTube channel.

Press Contacts:

Luna Newton, CooperKatz & Company for the ANA

(917) 595-3061 or lnewton@cooperkatz.com

Marcus Hardy, CooperKatz & Company for the ANA

(917) 595-3043 or mhardy@cooperkatz.com

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