2015-07-03

ICANN Board and CWG address IANA Trademarks and Domain Name

The ICG requests that the CWG [-Stewardship] communicate back to us a proposed resolution to this issue [IANA trademarks and domain name] by July 2 at 23:59 UTC.--ICG (IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group), June 19, 2015
The CWG-Stewardship (Names community) and the ICANN Board of Directors have both now responded to the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) on the subject of the IANA trademarks and domain name:

The CWG-Stewardship response (included in its entirety at the end of this post) essentially states:
  •  ICANN is currently the registrant for the iana.org domain and the owner of the IANA trademarks, and since PTI will be an affiliate of ICANN, the CWG-Stewardship sees no reason PTI would be unable to make use of the domain name and IANA trademark as needed;
  • Addressing the domain name registration and trademark issues is beyond the remit of the CWG-Stewardship alone; 
  • The CWG-Stewardship proposal does not make a specific proposal with regard to the IANA trademark[s][and domain name] and therefore in "our firm view" is specifically not in conflict with the CRISP or IANAPLAN (IETF) proposals.

The ICANN Board response, via ICANN Board member Wu Kuo-Wei, on the internal ICG mail list:
ICANN currently holds IANA.ORG and the IANA trademark for the benefit of the community and in support of ICANN's performance of the IANA functions. The [ICANN] board recognizes that the community is considering different models for the maintenance of the iana.org domain name and the related trademarks. The board wishes to reassure the community that in the event any of the IANA functions are transferred away from ICANN, appropriate rights to use the intellectual property associated with the IANA functions will be granted without delay to the new operator or to an entity the operational communities unanimously designate. It is important that any new model should maintain the stability of the technical operations of the IANA functions and continued ability to use the intellectual property associated with IANA for all of the operational communities.
The CWG-Stewardship co-chairs have extended an offer to have a call on July 7th to the leaders of the numbers (CRISP) and protocols (IETF/IANAPLAN) communities. The ICG next meets Wednesday, 15 July at 19:00-21:00 UTC.

Background:

In the IANA Stewardship Transition, the issue of the IANA trademarks and domain name iana.org, have become an issue which Domain Mondo previously reported on, see: IANA Transition: IANA Trademark and Domain Name Controversy Erupts (June 19, 2015) and IANA Trademarks and Domain Name, ICANN or IETF Trust? (June 21, 2015).

ICANN is the lawful owner of the IANA trademarks, and registrant of the domain name, which were originally property of the University of Southern California (USC) where Jon Postel worked, but later assigned and transferred  by USC to ICANN after it came into existence and became the "IANA functions operator."

The IANA trademarks and domain name are not mentioned in the RFP issued by the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) to the three "operational communities"--names (CWG-Stewardship), numbers (CRISP), protocol parameters (IETF / IANAPLAN). The CRISP and IETF proposals submitted in January do not provide for any substantive change in their respective contractual relationships with ICANN in regard to the IANA functions--each community (numbers and protocols) has its own separate agreement with ICANN which either party can terminate. The protocols (IETF) proposal did not request any change or transfer of the IANA trademarks and domain name. The CRISP plan however included in its proposal the following:
With regards to the IANA trademark and the IANA.ORG domain, it is the expectation of the Internet Number Community that both are associated with the IANA Numbering Services and not with a particular IANA Numbering Services Operator. Identifying an organization that is not the IANA Numbering Services Operator and which will permanently hold these assets will facilitate a smooth transition should another operator (or operators) be selected in the future. It is the preference of the Internet Number Community that the IANA trademark and the IANA.ORG domain name be transferred to an entity independent of the IANA Numbering Services Operator, in order to ensure that these assets are used in a non-discriminatory manner for the benefit of the entire community. From the Internet Number Community’s perspective, the IETF Trust would be an acceptable candidate for this role. The transfer of the IANA trademark and IANA.ORG domain to the IETF Trust will require additional coordination with the other affected communities of the IANA Services, namely, protocol parameters and names. It is the preference of the Internet Number Community that all relevant parties agree to these expectations as part of the transition.
Subsequently, the ICG asked the IETF, sole beneficiary of the IETF Trust, if the Trust would agree to accept transfer of the IANA trademarks and domain name, and the IETF consented.

The CWG-Stewardship response to the ICG via the CWG mail list, July 2, 2015 (emphasis added):

Dear Alissa, Patrik & Mohammed [ICG Co-Chairs]
In response to your request on 19 June, we would like to provide you with additional clarification on the CWG-Stewardship Final Proposal text with regard to the IANA trademark.
In order for PTI to operate the IANA naming function as envisioned by the CWG-Stewardship, PTI assumes it will be able to make use of both the iana.org domain and the IANA trademark in the performance of its work. Because ICANN is currently the registrant for the iana.org domain and the owner of the IANA trademark, and since PTI will be an affiliate of ICANN, the CWG-Stewardship sees no reason PTI would be unable to make use of the domain name and IANA trademark as needed.   

Beyond the expectation described above, addressing the domain name registration and trademark issues is beyond the remit of the CWG-Stewardship alone, particularly in so  far as these may relate to how the use of the iana.org or IANA trademark impact the work of the other two operating communities. The text within the CWG-Stewardship Final Proposal that refers to the trademark is clearly defined as placeholder text (in square brackets) within an initial draft proposed term sheet that does not have the consensus support of the CWG-Stewardship, save for as presented as Annex S in the Final Proposal.

In effect, the Final Proposal does not make a specific proposal with regard to the IANA trademark. Therefore it is our firm view that it is specifically not in conflict with either of the CRISP & IANAPLAN proposals on this subject. To reaffirm this, and to discuss a potential consolidated position, we have extended an offer to the leadership of the other two operational communities for a call on Tuesday, 7 July. We then intend to provide an update for discussion to the CWG-Stewardship at our next meeting on Thursday, 9 July. We are happy to provide you with a subsequent update on the outcomes of both discussions. 
Best wishes,
Lise Fuhr and Jonathan Robinson
Co-Chairs, CWG-Stewardship

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