Marksmen’s Cyntia King on ICANN’s RPM Working Group


domain names, domains, new TLDs, domain acquisitions, intellectual property, ICANN, GNSO, RPM Working Group, Cyntia King, Brand Protection Services, NGOs, UDRP

ICANN, RPMs, and TLDs.

ICANN is set to review all Rights Protection Mechanisms (RPMs) in all TLDs. The oldest of these, the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), has been unchanged since it came into effect in 1999. Marksmen’s own Cyntia King will be one of nearly 200 industry professionals lending their expertise to the process.

Members of the RPM Working Group will spend the next year reviewing RPMs, soliciting public input, and suggesting improvements to the mechanisms. RPMs include the UDRP, Trademark Clearing House (TMCH), Sunrise and “Trademark Claims” periods, Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedures (PDDRP), and Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS). The final report is expected to be delivered in the spring/summer of 2017.

The Generic Names Supporting Organization or GNSO (the ICANN group responsible for creating domain name policy) requested an Issue Report on RPMs in 2011, but that document was delayed until the rollout of the new gTLDs. It was immediately apparent from the report, which was finally delivered in January 2016, that public sentiment runs high concerning RPMs. Comments included small business owners calling domain investors “Domain Grabbers” who “blackmail” potential domain buyers, while comments from domain portfolio owners called for a “severe penalty to deter Reverse Domain Name Hijacking attempts.”

The committee of 138 participants and 61 observers represents every continent except Antarctica and includes big brands, attorneys, non-profit representatives, and a few Marksmen Clients including J. Scott Evans, head of IP at Adobe and former INTA president. J. Scott is one 0f three co-chairs along w/ Phil Corwin of Virtualaw LLC and Kathy Kleinman of Fletcher Heald & Hildreth. Marksmen partners Com Laude, Valideus, and IP Twins are also part of the committee.

Panel members will convene through virtual meetings over the course of the next year. Participants will break out into sub-groups to examine specific issues and are expected to speak with members of the industry, NGOs and the public to gather feedback. Stay tuned for more on this story in the months to come…

Cyntia King is a Business Development Consultant and former zen master domain name Analyst here at Marksmen. Cyntia can be reached at or 1-818-827-5477.

The Intellectual Property experts at Marksmen provide discreet, confidential and relentless IP services including investigationsacquisitionsanti-counterfeiting, and enterprise domain name management for clients, both small and Fortune 500. Contact us today to learn more about our services.