Failed .africa gTLD applicant DotConnectAfrica has filed an Independent Review Process appeal against ICANN, it emerged today.
The nature of the complaint is not entirely clear, but in a press release DCA said it’s related to “ICANN Board decisions and actions taken with regard to DCA Trust’s application for the .africa new gTLD”.
It’s only the third time an IRP has been filed. The first two were related to .xxx; ICM Registry won its pioneering case in 2009 and Manwin Licensing settled its followup case last year.
DCA said that it’s an “amended” complaint. It turns out the first notice of IRP was sent October 23. ICANN published it December 12, but I missed it at the time.
I’d guess that the original needed to be amended due to a lack of detail. The “Nature of Dispute” section of the form, filed with the International Center for Dispute Resolution, is just a sentence long, whereas ICM and Manwin attached 30 to 60-page legal complaints to theirs.
The revised notice, which has not yet been published, was filed January 10, according to DCA.
DCA applied for .africa in the current new gTLD round, but lacked the government support required by the Applicant Guidebook for strings matching the names of important geographic regions.
Its rival applicant, South African ccTLD registry Uniforum, which does have government backing, looks set to wind up delegated, whereas ICANN has designated DCA’s bid as officially “Not Approved”.
To win an IRP, it’s going to have to show that it suffered “injury or harm that is directly and causally connected to the Board’s alleged violation of the Bylaws or the Articles of Incorporation”.