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Net Experts Urge Caution on Trademark Plan

May 13, 1999|Karen Kaplan

A group of leading Internet technologists, lawyers and policy analysts are urging the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names & Numbers to take its time considering a controversial plan for resolving trademark disputes on the Internet. The plan, proposed earlier this month by the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, has been criticized by some Net activists who say it would give too much power to big companies at the expense of individual Internet users. The board of directors of ICANN, the Los Angeles-based nonprofit corporation that was formed to manage the Internet domain name system, hinted that it might adopt the WIPO proposal at a meeting this month. That prompted the group of two dozen Internet leaders to send a petition to ICANN late Tuesday. Among the signatories are former Internet Society Director Anthony Rutkowski, Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, Internet Engineering Task Force Area Director Scott Bradner, and University of Pennsylvania telecommunications professor David Farber.

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