Elgar Intellectual Property and Global Development series
Chapter 8: Conclusions
This book has focused on aspects of domain name regulation that have not yet been addressed comprehensively in existing literature. Most prior discussion of domain names, particularly in the 1990s and early years of the new millennium, focused on the need to protect trademark holders against bad faith commercial conduct. Dennis Toeppen and his fellow cybersquatters were the initial touch points for concern in the early years of the domain name system.1 Regulators were in an invidious position because no one had clear policy-making authority for domain name disputes at a more global or comprehensive level. Arguably, there is still no one clear body that has the authority to regulate all aspects of domain name policy, including concerns about trademarks, personal names, political speech and legitimate interests in cultural and geographic words and phrases. While the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has assumed administrative control over the technological aspects of the system, its mandate is to make policy only to the extent required in support of its technical functions.2 The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has assisted ICANN in developing some domain name policy,3 but WIPO’s mandate is focused on the protection of intellectual property rights. National and state legislatures can obviously make some laws relating to domain names, but these are bound to be piecemeal, as evidenced by current practices. Within federal systems, powers to regulate intellectual property rights usually vest in the central government,4 while powers over other issues See discussion at 1.1,...
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