The Internet Committee of the International Trademark Association (www.inta.org) seeks comments on its recently published report entitled: Substituted Service of Process by Electronic Mail: Achieving Notice on Fictitious Owners of Commercial Websites for Access to Judicial Remedies.
The INTA Internet Committee proposes:
“adoption of legislative and treaty amendments providing that in a civil action arising from the advertising or sale of goods and services via a fictitiously owned commercial website, where the corresponding domain name is registered through a proxy service or by means of materially false or deficient contact data, service of process by electronic mail on the e-mail address provided in the Whois record associated with the domain name for that website shall be effective against the named registrant without the need for a court order allowing for substituted service.”
The INTA Report:
“…considers the prospects for streamlining the process necessary before an aggrieved party may undertake substituted service of process on the hidden owner of a commercial web site by electronic mail. The Subcommittee proposes that legislative and treaty amendments should provide that, in a civil action arising out of the advertising or sale of goods and services via a fictitiously owned commercial website, service of process by electronic mail on the e-mail address provided in the Whois record associated with the domain name for that website shall be effective against the named registrant without the need for a court order allowing for substituted service.
In September of 2009, the subcommittee’s proposal was presented to the INTA Policy Development & Advocacy Executive Council and the INTA Board of Directors Executive Committee, and in November 2009 to the INTA Board of Directors. Although in general the proposal was favorably received, the Committee was encouraged to consult with other stakeholders on three key questions in order to develop the recommendations further and prior to INTA taking a position on the issue:
1) Should the recommendation be limited to trademark infringement and cybersquatting cases? (To be clear, the Working Group and the Whois Subcommittee do not, in this report, recommend such a limitation because the recommendation is already limited in several ways discussed herein. Further, limiting it to trademark cases would provide preferential treatment for trademark owners without a compelling policy basis for doing so, although the exercise of restraint is admirable.)
2) What effect would the proposal have on non-trademark claims involving fictitiously owned commercial web sites?
3) Would other legal organizations and stakeholders support and/or have changes to the proposal?
The deadline of March 15, 2010 appears to have been extended. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org