gTLD Application Reveal: Strategies to Protect Your Rights and Brands
By Richard S. Stockton and Victoria R. M. Webb
The application period for new generic top level domains (which will supplement existing gTLDs like “.com”) closed on May 30, 2012. On June 13, 2012, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Internet’s primary governing body, announced the applied-for gTLDs and their applicants--view the list here.
- Legal Rights: the applied-for gTLD violates the objector’s intellectual property rights;
- String Confusion: the applied-for gTLD is too similar to an existing top level domain or another applied-for or existing gTLD (objector must be a gTLD applicant or existing TLD operator);
- Limited Public Interest: the applied-for gTLD violates generally accepted international legal norms of morality and public order; and
- Community: substantial opposition to the applied-for gTLD exists within the applied-for gTLD’s targeted community (objector must be an established institution associated with a clearly defined community).
Generally speaking, the objection process is an inter partes process adjudicated by arbitration centers. In addition to objections, public comments regarding applications can now be submitted. The current version of the official applicant guidebook for the entire new gTLD process is available here.