Today, ICANN, the Internet’s domain name registration watch dog, will publish a listing of nearly 1,900 new generic Top-Level Domains (“gTLDs”) that may be approved for use as early as March 2013. We previously wrote about ICANN’s expansion program and suggested safeguards that companies could implement to protect themselves.
Tagged: Vicarious Trademark Infringement
On January 12, 2012, ICANN, the Internet’s domain name registration watch dog, began accepting applications for new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) to add to those already in existence, including .com, .net, .biz and others. Under the new scheme, any company can apply for a gTLD, thereby expanding the domain name system (DNS). Ultimately, this expansion will change the Internet forever. Each new gTLD poses an incremental risk for trademark owners who are already under heavy assault in cyberspace from cybersquatting (registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name with bad faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark owner), brandjacking (assuming the online identity of another entity for the purposes of trading on another’s brand equity), and typosquatting (registering URLs with common misspellings) by those seeking to generate illicit profits. According to the Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA), cybersquatting already costs trademark owners more than $1 billion each year due to lost sales, lost goodwill, and increased enforcement costs. However, with a major increase in gTLDs, many corporations fear an expansion in expensive litigation to enforce their brands and trademarks.
Oral argument was recently heard before the Federal Circuit in the appeal of AstraZeneca Pharms. LP. v. Aurobindo Pharma Ltd. AstraZeneca, along with IPR Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and The Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Inc., (“Plaintiffs) sued ten generic drug companies alleging infringement of US Patent Nos. 6,858,618 (“the ‘618 patent”) and 7,030,152 (“the ‘152 patent”) under the Hatch-Waxman Act. These patents claim methods of treatment using rosuvastatin calcium, which Plaintiffs market as Crestor®.