The EU is currently working on the establishment of “EU Toolbox against counterfeiting” to combat online piracy and counterfeiting. As part of this effort, the domain name information and alert system set up by European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and .eu Registry (EURid) has been identified as a crucial tool to fight abusive domain name registrations. This system allows European Union trademark applicants to check the availability of .eu domain names and also providing alerts when identical .eu domain names are registered.
In the recent proposal for the revision of the GI system of agricultural products, the European Commission has proposed expanding the domain information and alert system to cover GIs beyond EU trademarks and top-level domains (TLDs) beyond .eu.
The European Commission (DG Grow) has recently mandated a study to Wavestone and Ivett Paulovics, with the objectives of:
- Gathering evidence on the dimension of the problem of abusive domain name registrations (generic TLDs and country code TLDs) in respect of GIs;
- Exploring how the domain name information and alert system set up and operated by EUIPO and EURid for the top-level domain ‘.eu’, can be expanded not only to EU trademarks but to geographical indications, and to other TLDs.
This Study can support legislative the current and future proposals in the field of geographical indications for agricultural products (and for craft and industrial products), and ultimately can also support the Commission’s work for the upcoming EU Toolbox against counterfeiting.
In conducting the study, the Commission’s contractors shall collect information from stakeholders, in particular from GI producers and their associations. oriGIn and its members have been identified by the European Commission as prominent stakeholders.
For collecting information and inputs, an online survey and in-depth interviews are used. The link to the survey is as follows: https://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/bcb60302-4450-f0f6-6b64-faff9ace3d8c
The deadline for the submission of the responses is 11 August 2023.
You are kindly requested to submit your responses to support the production of a high-quality report, which would be of use for the Commission when assessing the relevance of abusive domain name registrations for GIs and the needs, the potential impacts, and the implementation efforts to be done for the establishment of an extended domain name information and alert system.