The International Trademark Association is continuing to press ICANN into commissioning a study of the potential economic “harms” its new top-level domain program could cause.
INTA executive director Alan Drewsen earlier this month sent ICANN a quick reminder (pdf) that it expects to see the study carried out before the new TLD application round launches.
The trademark lobby believes that new TLDs will increase costs to brand-conscious businesses through an increase in the number of defensive registrations and dispute proceedings they have to pay for.
ICANN hired some third-party analysts to look into the issue, and published a preliminary report in July that basically just speculated about studies that could be carried out in future.
The plan was to carry out a second-phase study, which was to begin after public comments on the first report had been analyzed and summarized by ICANN staff.
Three months after the public comment period closed, this analysis has not been published and there’s no news on phase two.
INTA’s latest missive also notes that the ICANN board does not appear to have discussed the economic study at its Trondheim meeting in September.
Drewson also refers back to previous correspondence, sent in early September by INTA president Heather Steinmeyer, in which she wrote:
trademark owners believe that such a study is not only a sensible recommendation, but an essential prerequisite before any rollout of new gTLDs.
It’s not clear to me whether ICANN also thinks the study needs to be completed before the new TLD program launches.
Such a study would presumably take some considerable time to compile, and noises from ICANN currently point to the program becoming finalized at some point in the next six months.
If the study were to conclude that new TLDs would be hugely financially damaging, after three years of work… well, red faces would be the very least concern.