THURSDAY, 22 NOVEMBER 2012
Early warnings and gTLDs: or what's the difference between wine and vin?
Class 46 is again grateful to Jean-François Vanden Eynde for helping us to untangle the maze of issues facing trade mark owners, and indeed the bodies responsible for the management and control of geographical indications, on account of the introduction of generic top-level domains for internet addresses. In this piece he brings Class 46 readers up to speed on the sudden rash of early warnings which it now falls to us all to analyse:
Yesterday, the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) released more than 200 hundred early warnings. According to the applicant guidebook, an early warning is a notice concerning an application providing the applicant with an indication that the application is seen as potentially sensitive or problematic by one or more governments.
To illustrate my position, I will take two examples (.gmbh and .wine).
"the Government of Germany wishes to observe that the term “gmbh” as an abbreviation is linked to a specific corporate form for companies (“Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung”, which corresponds to a Limited Liability Company or LLC in the English speaking countries)”.
Taking a closer look at all warnings launched by Germany, there is no trace of objections concerning .llc extensions. In other words, Germany expressed some concerns about .gmbh, but not about .llc. If we pursue this logic, we find that none of the English-speaking governments raised any concern about one of the .llc applications.
"any product that does not comply with these rules cannot be marketed under the denomination “wine” or “vin” in French”.
The GAC representatives propose the implementation of objection procedures to safeguard the protection of geographical indications.
The views expressed in this post are those of Jean-François Vanden Eynde himself and do not necessarily reflect any position taken by his company.
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