Vanity Domain Names to Be Available Next Year
In 2009, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) — the not-for-profit group responsible for coordinating, at the overall level, the global Internet’s systems of unique identifiers — is expected to change the landscape of the Web by unveiling an unlimited number of top-level domain names (e.g. .com, .org, .net). With this change, businesses around the world will have the opportunity to register their business names, trademarks, and other terms as top-level domains (TLD), such as disney, .ebay, .microsoft, and more. In addition, companies will have an opportunity to vie for TLDs consisting of generic terms like .computer, .movie, and .pizza.
These new “vanity” domain names will be especially attractive to businesses that may not have been able to secure their first choice in a domain name, are seeking to expand their Internet presence, or simply want to prevent Cybersquatters from acquiring domain names that correspond to their business names and trademarks. In addition, acquisition of these domain names could help with a business’ search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.
While ICANN still has yet to determine how the domains will be made available, it is more than likely that there will be an open application process for those seeking to register a TLD that corresponds with their trademarks. According to some industry analysts, the minimum cost of vanity TLDs could range from $50,000-$ 100,000, with companies or individuals paying upwards of $1million for those TLDs that are highly coveted (e.g., .software).
Even though ICANN is set to meet in November 2008 to discuss the registration and dispute process for the new vanity domains, there are a number of challenges that trademark owners and businesses should start to address right now. For many, the most significant challenge will be deciding whether or not it makes sense to register a TLD that matches a certain trademark or business name. Companies should also consider investing in defensive protective registration programs to prevent
others, such as cybersquatters, from securing certain TLDs.
This news is made available by Barnes & Thornburg’s Intellectual Property Attorneys www.btlaw.com/intellectualproperty (Chicago office 312-357-1313).
Clarification on Forest Service Permitting Issue
One issue should be clarified regarding the assignment of use upon renewal or review of use allocations. The agency will not exceed the original allocation in general. For permittees with over 1,000 service days, when their permits are renewed or when use is reviewed every five years, use will be assigned at actual use plus 15% of actual use in the highest of the last five years up to the original allocation. For outfitters with 1,000 service days or less, actual use plus 25% will be assigned up to the original allocation. If extenuating circumstances prevail, then a sixth year may be considered. If use is utilized from a priority or temporary use pool, it is possible for a permittee to go over their original allocation provided there is ample capacity at the resource. But the establishment of those pools is at the discretion of permit administrators. For a complete review of the Final Forest Service Outfitter and Guide Permitting Directives go to americaoutdoors.org, Government Affairs, Final Rules.
A conference call for AO members will be conducted on Tuesday, September 30th at 1:00 PM Eastern time to go over the changes and provide you with an opportunity to ask questions. Dial in information is as follows:
Conference Dial-in Number: (308) 344-6400
Participant Access Code: 568017#
Forest Service Money to Be Restored in Continuing Resolution
A Continuing Resolution designed to keep the government funded at the same level as last year until March of next year, includes money for firefighting that will enable the Forest Service to recover money transferred out of other programs to firefighting during last summer. An effort is being made to pass the bill before the election recess so Congress will not have to return for a “lame duck” session.
The continuing resolution, or CR, to fund the government past Sept. 30 contains $775 million for the Forest Service and $135 million for the Bureau of Land Management for wildfire costs, according to a draft released by the House Appropriations Committee. $100 million would be made available to the agency within 15 days to repay transfers from other agency programs for previous emergency wildfire suppression activities.
Congress Passes the ADA Amendments Act of 2008
On Sept. 17, 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (the “Act”), by a voice vote, following the Senate's passage of the bill last week. President George W. Bush is expected to sign the measure into law, which is slated to take effect on Jan. 1, 2009. As written, the purpose of the Act is to “restore the intent and protections” of the ADA, essentially by overturning certain decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court that currently limit the definition of disability.
The Act broadens the ADA’s definition of “disability” in several ways, and criticizes the restrictive interpretation the courts and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) have placed on the law’s requirement that a physical or mental impairment substantially limit a major life activity in order to constitute a disability. The Act specifically rejects the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. v. Williams, 534 U.S. 184 (2002), where the Supreme Court said that to be substantially limited in performing a major life activity under the ADA, “an individual must have an impairment that prevents or severely restricts the individual from doing activities that are of central importance to most people’s daily lives.”
The Act also indicates that current EEOC regulations defining the term “substantially limits” as “significantly restricted” are too strict. It makes clear that impairments that are episodic or in remission can qualify as disabilities if the impairment would substantially limit a major life activity when active. Rejecting the Supreme Court’s decision in Sutton v. United Airlines, Inc., 527 U.S. 471 (1999), the Act specifies that “substantially limits” is to be determined without considering mitigating measures (save for ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses).
Bailout Bill Expected to Provide Better Credit for Small Business
Due to tightening credit for small business and with some banks calling loans for good businesses, the bailout package being debated may include provisions targeted toward making credit available for small business, according to Business Week.
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