EuroISPA joins wider stakeholders in expressing concern at “trademark package” proposal
On 09 February EuroISPA was signatory to a letter sent to lawmakers in the European Parliament and European Council, expressing concern with regard to the legal status of internet domain names in the current European “trademark package”.
This stakeholder communication comes as the Council considers broadening the protection afforded to trademarks, targeting domain names in particular. Along with our coalition partners, EuroISPA feels that any such move would be detrimental to Internet users, free speech, social commentary and the Internet generally.
In the letter to lawmakers, the coalition expressed a number of overarching concerns which should preclude the extension of trademark protection to internet domain names:
- Internet users and NGOs often register and use domain names for various purposes which are socially valuable, and which cannot be equated with the selling of goods and services.
- Since domain names are global and trademarks are territorial, a nuanced approach to dealing with suspected infringements is required. The current framework, which includes dedicated dispute resolution procedures, provides a balanced mechanism.
Besides EuroISPA, the coalition included organisations representing civil society, internet domain registries, and domain name owners.