Owners of global brands will face a difficult challenge when the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect on the 25th of May. A key resource for brand owners could even go dark on that date because of stiff new privacy rules implemented in regional laws across the entire European Union.
That resource is WHOIS information, which for two-decades has helped brand owners identify who owns a domain and how to contact them. Those records, regulated by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), developed into an essential tool for maintaining the integrity of the domain name registration and website ownership process. It is expected the cloaking of that information will provide more cover for the bad actors who populate the on-line space internationally, including cybersquatters, phishers, counterfeiters, and other infringers. Brand owners will need to adopt new tactics to enforce their marks in this altered landscape.
Our panel includes trademark counsel from a major multinational corporation and two law firm specialists in domain name and Internet IP law. They will discuss:
- The global reach of the GDPR, which will apply to all companies selling to and storing personal information about citizens in Europe, including companies with no facility in that region.
- ICANN’s proposal for implementing the privacy rules.
- Strategies for brand owners to address the new landscape.
- Options open to brand owners who will now find it more difficult to bring relatively inexpensive administrative proceedings due to lack of information.
- Whether expensive court-based enforcement actions will become more common.
- Whether enforcement budgets will need to grow to keep up with more elusive threats and, if so, how much?
- Dennis Prahl, Ladas & Parry LLP
- Marc Trachtenberg, Greenberg Traurig, LLP
- Valerie Verrett, Exxon Mobil