ICANN Passess 100 Delegations for New gTLDs

By January 14, 2014Domains

ICANN Passes 100 Delegations For New gTLDs This week ICANN announced they have passed the 100 mark for new gTLDs to be delegated. The move to being delegated is one of the final steps before the Registries that control the gTLDs may begin accepting registrations. In total, as of 21 January there were 107 gTLDs delegated.

In the past couple of weeks the first brand was delegated with the Australian university Monash having its gTLD delegated. And one of the pioneers of the new gTLD programme, those behind the application for .berlin became the second city gTLD to be delegated behind .wien (Vienna).

“There are now almost five times more generic Top-Level Domains than there were only a few months ago and that translates to greater consumer choice,” said Akram Atallah, President of ICANN’s Global Domains Division. “We are as eager as everyone else to see what type of innovation these new Domains will usher into the online world.”

Noting the historic achievement, Christine Willett, Vice President of gTLD Operations, said the year ahead was full of new opportunities.

“This is an historic milestone for ICANN’s New gTLD Program and the Internet as a whole. The year ahead will be defined by new opportunities in a vastly expanding online landscape.”

In addition to the new delegations, over 200 Registry Agreements (RA) have been signed by new gTLD applicants. The signing of an agreement allows applicants to move onto the final stages of the programme and prepare for delegation into the DNS.

In a posting on the ICANN blog, Atallah wrote enthusiastically of the possibilities of the already delegated gTLDs. He rattled off the following statistics : • there are new gTLD registries with delegated gTLDs operating in nine countries, including Australia, China and Switzerland • the original 22 gTLDs consist of Latin characters only, and most are abbreviated English words, but the new gTLDs include Arabic, Chinese, German and Russian • registries for gTLDs .WIEN and .BERLIN self-identified as community applicants, signifying their intention to operate the gTLDs on behalf of the citizens of Vienna and Berlin, respectively.

But there are still obstacles to be overcome for some applicants with ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee, who is charged with giving advice to ICANN from governments to ICANN on issues of public policy, and especially where there may be an interaction between ICANN’s activities or policies and national laws or international agreements, concerned about some applications.

The GAC has expressed reservations about applications for .wine and .vin. The GAC is concerned that appropriate that safeguards against possible abuse of these new gTLDs may be needed. The issue for the GAC is that many may associate a type of wine with a region, and this name may be a protected name. Examples include Champagne and Burgundy in France and Mosel in Germany. However governments have not been able to agree on appropriate safeguards and the GAC has recommended “that the applications should proceed through the normal evaluation process.”

Other contentious applications raised by the GAC were for .guangzhou (IDN in Chinese) and .shenzhen (IDN in Chinese) which were both rejected with neither being able to get local government support. Another application, for .spa, aimed at the spa and wellness industry has similarly had difficulties due to it also being a geographic name. To deal with these concerns, the applicant (Donuts) has offered the city a number of domains to take account of their concerns.

There were also issues with the protection of intergovernmental organisation acronyms including the Red Cross/Red Crescent Names, a special launch programme for geographic and community gTLDs and the applications for .islam and .halal have also been contentious.

And one of the major issues for new gTLDs has been concerns raised by brand owners. In an effort to explain in simple terms issues such as the Rights Protection Mechanisms that trademark holders and their representatives can use to combat infringement during the Domain Name System expansion, ICANN published an educational infographic.

The New gTLD Program Rights Protection Mechanisms include both proactive and reactive measures for defending trademarks. The infographic seeks to explain these issues such as the Trademark Clearinghouse, Uniform Rapid Suspension System and Trademark Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedure succinctly and clearly.

The infographic is available to download from http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/announ….

Lutz Berneke

Author Lutz Berneke

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