We are excited to announce that DomainSkate is now a Registered Agent for the Trademark Clearinghouse.  This article explains how the TMCH can help you protect your trademark and brand.

Sorting facts from fiction in the Trademark Clearinghouse
DomainNameWire.com
By Jan Corstens, July 23, 2013

“The Trademark Clearinghouse is a unique way for brand owners to protect themselves with the introduction of top level domain names. Jan Corstens, a partner at Deloitte (which operates the Trademark Clearinghouse), explains some of the common misconceptions about the service.”

According to DotConnectAfrica (see guest post at CircleID.com), “Africa currently has 163 million active Internet users which represents only a 15 percent penetration rate on the continent and is clearly among the fastest growing tech markets in the world.” The development of this gTLD and its governance by a multi-stakeholder body will be an interesting one to watch.

ICANN Scores dotAfrica Domain High in Initial Evaluation
ThisDayLive.com
By Amaka Eze, July 25, 2013

Africa is firmly on its way to having its own dotAfrica generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) after the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN), the Internet governing body ruled that the ZA Central Registry (ZACR) bid for dotAfrica has passed “Initial Evaluation”. …The dotAfrica Steering Committee is a precursor to the establishment of a multi-stakeholder pan-African dotAfrica Foundation, which will drive the execution of the key developmental deliverables in cooperation with the African Union Commission (AUC).

___

Earlier we posed the question of whether GAC’s objection to .Amazon was an abuse of power… here is an article arguing that it is in fact Amazon who is abusing their power.

Yes, AMAZON®, there is a river — No to .amazon
JDSupra.com
By Hodgson Legal, July 22, 2013

“Amazon, a once tiny bookseller, has become Amazon the brand bully. However, the bully was called into the principal’s office this week by ICANN. This happened only after Brazil and other Latin countries joined forces in an effort to prevent approval of Amazon’s generic top level domain (gTLD) application.  An ICANN committee meeting in South Africa recently recommended rejection of  Amazon’s application to own .amazon for the Internet.”

This is particularly interesting in light of the article we posted on the same day:

Amazon Defeats Pinterest’s Legal Rights Objection For The <.Pin> String
DomainSkate.com
By Deepti Sahrawat, July 22, 2013

The company Pinterest lost a Legal Rights Objection (LRO) against Amazon, Inc. related to the New gTLD string .PIN that Amazon applied for.  Pinterest lost, even though it is the world’s third largest social media site behind Facebook and Twitter and uses the term “pin” for almost all of its functions.

___

ICANN launches digital innovation platform
HumanIPO
By Kamau Mbote, July 24, 2013

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has unveiled a platform with the objective of fostering innovation, experimentation and increasing community engagement levels.  ICANNLabs will enable the ICANN community to engage in a transparent process consistent with its stakeholder model with anyone free to sign up to receive updates and provide feedback.  The organisation will launch prototypes focussed on four areas: Communication, Education, Conversation and Discovery and Personalisation.

___

ICANN leader shares vision for growth and a global Internet
IDG News Service via PCWorld.com
By Rebecca Wanjiku, July 20, 2013

“In his first year heading the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, Fadi Chehade has tried to establish a more international ICANN by opening hubs in Turkey, Singapore, Beijing, and Geneva. Governments, meanwhile, have found a new role within ICANN, mainly in respect to the new generic Top Level Domains. … Chehade sat down with the IDG News Service at the ICANN 47 meeting in Durban to answer questions about his first year in office. Click through for an edited transcript of the interview.”

___

Avoiding an ICANN Monopoly on Policy
CircleID.com
By Jay Daley, July 25, 2013

With all the focus in the TLD world on the imminent arrival of more than a thousand new TLDs and the still unfinished discussions within ICANN on what policy framework those TLDs will need to follow, it is often forgotten that there are hundreds of other TLD policy frameworks that are mature, stable and well tested. These of course are the ccTLD policy frameworks that have been actively developed over 20 years.

 ..