Aust govt calls for domain name protection

The Australian government has called on the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) to develop guidelines and policies to prevent cybersquatting.

This is one area where Australia is leading the world in issues of internet governance and the request has been endorsed by other WIPO members including Canada, the European Union and the US.

The federal minister for communications, the arts and information technology, Senator Richard Alston, said the prevention of cybersquatting will increase confidence in internet infrastructure and e-commerce by protecting the established rights of businesses and individuals.

Cybersquatting is the abusive or bad faith registration of an internet domain name that is similar to a name in which another person has intellectual property rights, or some other legitimate claim.

Australia hosted an international landmark meeting in February between 19 national government, public authorities and international organisations to push for the restriction of cybersquatting.

In addition to guidelines and policies, the government is seeking recommendations on non-trademarkable names including personal names, international nonproprietary names for pharmaceutical substances, names of international intergovernmental organisations, geographical indications and geographical terms.

"The Australian government is confident that WIPO will take the appropriate action swiftly," Senator Alston said.

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