The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) held its 78th public meeting in Hamburg, Germany from October 21-26, 2023. This meeting, attended by about 2,800 participants representing a wide cross-section of stakeholders with different Internet policy interests, also marked the 25th anniversary of ICANN since its founding as a nonprofit public benefit corporation in 1998.
In addition to celebrations commemorating ICANN's 25th anniversary, key topics discussed throughout the meeting included: the role of ICANN in global Internet policy and the importance of collaboration on and integration with legislative frameworks; access to WHOIS data, particularly through the Registration Data Request Service (RDRS) that is due to be launched in late 2023; progress on preparations for the next round of new gTLDs, still anticipated to open in April 2026; and continued discussions on DNS abuse, particularly the pending amendments to the Registry Agreement and Registrar Accreditation Agreement.
Members of Winterfeldt IP Group attended ICANN78 in person and remotely, and our full article, "Whois data discussions and internet governance: key takeaways from ICANN78 in Hamburg," is available to subscribers of the World Trademark Review here. While developments from ICANN78 were more incremental than groundbreaking on key topics of interest to brand owners, they do show forward progress, and we expect to see more noteworthy developments from ICANN's 2024 public meetings. The next ICANN meeting, the ICANN79 Community Forum, will be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico from March 2-7, 2023.