The event opened with remarks from Jeanene Jobst, Counsel to Turner Broadcasting, who gave a brand owner's point of view on one of the most pressing issues affecting brand domain strategies -- the imminent launch of an unlimited number of new top level domains (TLDs). As counsel to Turner, Ms. Jobst manages the international trademark portfolio of the Cartoon Network, as well as its worldwide domain name portfolio. With firsthand knowledge of how daunting the task of policing a brand online can be, she expressed her concern that the new TLD launches will make it that much harder.
John Hambrick, Unit Chief of the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at the Federal Bureau of Investigation in West Virginia, gave the keynote presentation on the evolution of cybercrime and the efforts of the cyber division of IC3 to combat this growing problem. The key, according to Mr. Hambrick, is collaboration -- progress will come about much faster if groups work together. Featured speaker Paul Martino, a partner at Alston & Bird's Washington office, outlined the role of US legislation in deterring cybersquatting and likewise emphasized the importance of collective action. Brand owners need to get involved and meet with members of Congress and administration policymakers to educate them on cybercrime, how it harms consumers and businesses, and the need for legislation to address it.
CADNA members are prominent brand owners with a wealth of collective knowledge on and experience in dealing with the practice of cybersquatting. Attendees at the event benefited from a panel discussion featuring CADNA's representatives from DIRECTV, Inc. and American International Group, Inc. It is CADNA's hope that with this conclusion of its 2008 Educational Forum Series will come a renewed effort on the part of brand owners to get involved in the fight against cybersquatting.
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