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World Intellectual Property Organization to hold hearing on Internet domain name system

The Law and Technology Policy Center at Stanford University Law School will host a hearing on intellectual property issues associated with the Internet domain name system. The hearing will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 23, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Fairchild Auditorium at Stanford's Medical Center.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has undertaken an international process to develop recommendations concerning the intellectual property issues associated with Internet domain names, including domain name dispute resolution. The recommendations resulting from this process will be made available to a non-profit organization that is being formed to manage the policy and technical aspects of the domain name system.

Over the next eight months WIPO will conduct a series of hearings in North America, Latin America, Africa, Asia Pacific and Europe. The meeting at Stanford is the first in this series. The hearing is free and open to the public.

John Barton, the George E. Osborne Professor of Law, said the hearing is important to the future of the Internet. "The program is designed to avoid the problem of conflicts between different companies over rights to recognizable web addresses," he said. "With U.S. encouragement, the Geneva-based World International Property Organization is creating a panel of experts to deal with the problem. We're especially hoping that the participants at the hearing will include representatives of the companies that want the new names, people with an understanding of Internet technology and representatives of the public interest." Barton, who will make the opening remarks at the hearing, said those wishing to testify should register through the WIPO website at


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