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Patricia O'Connell
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David Weslow Comments on Government Concerns Related to New Top-Level Domains

Bloomberg BNA
December 21, 2012

David E. Weslow, a partner in Wiley Rein’s Intellectual Property Practice, was interviewed for a Dec. 20 story in Bloomberg BNA’s Electronic Commerce & Law Report article about protecting Internet users and brand owners given concerns raised by certain applications for new top-level domains (TLDs).

An early-warning system was created by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to provide governments with the ability to flag concerns through the TLD application process. Australia has been the most pro-active government in the process, issuing more than half of the 242 early warnings sent on Nov. 20. Meanwhile, the United States sent only three warnings and the European Union issued no official early warnings.

The warnings are not considered formal objections and don’t delay TLD applications, but they raise the possibility that ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) could take steps to formally object to particular TLD applications. Mr. Weslow said in the article that the lack of U.S. government activity in relation to TLD early warnings was troublesome for applicants who had hoped for more action. “It now appears that the Australian government may represent brand owners’ best hope of obtaining modification or withdrawal of concerning gTLD applications,” he said.