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Protection of Geographic Names in International Law and Domain Name System, Second Edition

By Heather Ann Forrest


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Information Law Series Volume 30

Protection of Geographic Names in International Law and Domain Name System Policy provides a comprehensive analysis of the consistency of the ICANN New gTLD Program policy on geographic names with international law. Do governments possess exclusive rights to use geographic names in the Internet domain name system? Since the first edition of this book in 2012 – then and now the only book to report on and critically analyse new generic top-level domain name policy – much has occurred in response to this question, but no clear, predictable policy framework has yet emerged. This thoroughly updated second edition reassesses the need for legal clarity with its comprehensive identification and analysis of potential bases of rights in geographic names under international law, covering a diverse range of options including sovereignty and related State theory principles, intellectual property rights, geographical indications, unfair competition, and human rights.

What’s in this book:

In the course of the analysis, an entirely new field of international economic law emerges, as a number of distinct areas of law intersect and engage with such diverse legal issues as the following:

  • issues of Internet governance;
  • the legitimacy, transparency, and representativeness of the ICANN;
  • the role of ‘soft law’;
  • the extent to which rights in geographic names are recognized in trademark law;
  • impact of new domains on findings of distinctiveness in trademark examination;
  • rights to national identity, self-determination, freedom of expression, culture, language, and property;
  • ‘bad actors’;
  • rights recognition and challenge mechanisms;
  • controversial and ‘geopolitical’ names; and
  • dispute resolution policy and processes, including discussion of specific applications lodged in 2012.

In a field that raises more questions than answers, this book offers an in-depth examination of the implications of positive international law to assess the extent to which geographic names are currently protected and to what extent they can be exclusively claimed by governments in defence of territorial prerogatives.

How this will help you:

Demonstrating beyond a doubt that a great number of different legal facets will need to be taken into account, this remarkable and far-seeing work offers a valuable contribution to shaping future rules in the field of internet domain name allocation. It is sure to be of the greatest interest both to practitioners – especially those advising on brand and domain name portfolios – and to academics and policymakers focusing on internet governance and its challenges in the process of legal globalization.

Pages 440
Last Updated 04/05/2017
Update Frequency As Needed
Product Line Kluwer Law International
ISBN 9789041188397
SKU 10059419-0001
Table of Contents

About the author


Preface and Acknowledgements

Preface and Acknowledgements to First Edition


Part I Geographic Names in the Developing Domain Name System

Chapter 1 Assumptions of Rights in Geographic Names

Chapter 2 The Expanding Domain Name System

Part II Recognition of Rights in Names in DNS Policy and International Law

Chapter 3 Recognition of Rights in Names in DNS Policy

Chapter 4 Legal Framework for Challenging Assumptions of Rights in Geographic Names

Part III Rights in Geographic Names under International Law

Chapter 5 Intellectual Property Rights in Geographic Names

Chapter 6 Rights in Geographic Names as Such

Chapter 7 Rights in Geographical Indications

Chapter 8 Unfair Competition and Related Commercial Rights in Geographic Names

Chapter 9 Human Rights in Geographic Names

Summary of Conclusions


International Treaties and Agreements

Cases and Dispute Resolution Decisions

Referenced New gTLD Applications (2012)