My name is J. Scott Evans and, I must confess, I am one of the "overpaid mouthpieces for American corporate dominion over the internet" refered to in Mr. Hansen's article on the IPC meeting held in San Juan on Tuesday, June 26, 2007. The fact that Mr. Hanson's article attempts to veil itself as a factual news report of an event is chilling. His article is woefully inaccurate and completely one-sided.
First, I have never received one cent from a client for attending any ICANN meeting and I have attended ICANN meetings since 1999. Second, I represent the INTERNATIONAL Trademark Association, a volunteer-based organization representing over 4,500 trademark owners throughout the WORLD. In fact, many of the Board of Directors for INTA are from outside the U.S. and the current Executive Vice President is Australian and the Vice President is British. Third, Mr. Hansen's failed to mention that many of the attendees at the IPC meeting (either in-person or over the phone) were from outside the U.S. Specifically, the meeting was attended by persons from Taiwan, France, Germany and England. Lastly, many of the attendees at last Tuesday's IPC meeting were representatives from the international copyright community. Accordingly, the main thesis of Mr. Hansen's article is directly in contrast to the facts. The IPC is not simply concerned with "American" trademark owner's right but, rather, protection of intellectual property rights from IP owners throughout the world.
Next, I note that much of Mr. Hansen's apparent understanding of trademark law was gleaned from a presentation given by Prof. Christine Haight Farley during a Freedom of Expression workshop held by the Noncommercial User's Constituency, a group that has been historically hostile to IP protection. The fact that Mr. Hansen failed to disclose this reality is telling. Unfortunately for Mr. Hansen, his education in trademark law from Dr. Haight Farley was woefully inadequate and one-sided. The positions put forth by the professor during her presentation were at best, muddled, and at worst, inaccurate. Trademark law is at its heart a consumer protection concept. That is, the law rewards those trademark owners that police the marketplace and prosecute abusers with stronger trademark rights. In so doing, the trademark owners have to be vigilant to ensure that no bad actors are granted rights in domain names, trade names, service marks or trademarks that are confusingly similar to the trademark owner's mark. In this way, consumers are protected from the nefarious activities that often lead to consumer fraud and, in some tragic cases, bodily harm.
The IPC is a group of dedicated professionals that are seeking to work within the ICANN process to establish policies that will benefit the public by ensuring that intellectual property rights are protected so that consumers can have security in this medium of expression and commerce. In this regard, trademark owners are increasingly concerned about new TLD strings that seek to ransom trademarks to trademark owners in order to generate large sums of start up capital (i.e., Sunrise mechanisms or monetizing access to Whois information). It is these practices that the IPC seeks to thwart.
It is my sincere hope that Mr. Hansen will choose to be more balanced and much better informed the next time he seeks to inform on a particular subject. I am more than willing to endure an opposing veiwpoint on any issue; however, I am greatly insulted when a misinformed view point is touted as news reporting on factual events.
Shame on you Mr. Hansen!
J. Scott Evans
ADAMS EVANS P.A.