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Governments kill off Patagonia’s dot-brand bid

Kevin Murphy, July 11, 2013, 11:28:26 (UTC), Domain Policy

The clothing retailer Patagonia has withdrawn its application for .patagonia after it became clear that ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee was unlikely to allow it.
Controversial from the outset, Patagonia’s dot-brand came under fire from governments including Argentina and Chile because the company is named after a large region of Latin America.
The GAC couldn’t find a consensus for a full-on objection to the bid, however, because the US government refused to agree that governments should have rights over such geographic terms.
However the US said last week that it would stand neutral on .patagonia and other geographic-flavored applications at next week’s ICANN meeting in Durban, smoothing the path to GAC consensus.
A GAC consensus objection would have spelled certain death to the application.
Amazon’s .amazon application is in exactly the same position as .patagonia was. Unless the company can come to some kind of arrangement with Brazil and over governments it may suffer the same fate.

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Comments (7)

  1. Avri Doria says:

    The real pity of it is that we live in a world where it makes sense to say GAC “was unlikely to allow it” in relation to a domain name assignment .
    Government control over ICANN has gotten out of hand.

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      I recall that a lot of people, including yourself, were against this provision of the Applicant Guidebook.
      But rules is rules.
      ICANN could still overrule the GAC, remember. But I agree that’s very unlikely.

      • Roland Perry says:

        You say “rules is rules”, but as far as I can tell ‘Patagonia’ (like other regions including Scandanavia and Oceania) is not a geographic application which requires government approval.
        I wonder if .cisco needs the approval of the City of San Francisco?

        • Kevin Murphy says:

          The rule I was referring to is the rule that says the GAC can object to any application for any reason.

  2. John Berryhill says:

    What a waste. First, the applicant should have approached the affected governments to work out a “give back” of some kind at the outset. But when the shooting started, I was sure that some sort of promotion of Patqgonia would be part of the resolution. Argentina and Chile could have gotten a roster of names, and link placement on the clothing retailer’s sites.
    Because, after all, the clothing maker is engaged in “adventure / outdoor” merchandise precisely to trade on the reputation of Patagonia as a challenging natural environment. You would think they would understand that sharing the original goodwill in the reputation of Patagonia in a the geographic sense would be something they would be inclined to do anyway.

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      Hard to disagree with that analysis John.
      My gut feeling was that Patagonia Inc, well aware of the multiple uses of its name, was probably scared into a defensive application by one consultant or another. I doubt losing the gTLD will be considered a big set-back. I could be completely wrong.

  3. In all this discussion people are forgetting that the actual Patagonia people did not want the company to keep the TLD for themselves. Everybody frame this as as Patagonia Inc against governments. In reality, the government actually helped its people protect what they believe is theirs. It is actually a good thing these mechanisms were in place. All of you who believe the multi-stakeholder is really “multi” are forgetting that many people are not well represented. Yet the multi-sake-holder approached ACTUALLY WORKED! Cheers to that!

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