South African registry ZACR did not engage in a fraudulent conspiracy with ICANN to get its .africa gTLD application approved, a court ruled yesterday.
The California judge in the case of DotConnectAfrica vs ICANN and ZACR threw out all of DCA’s claims against ZACR, approving ZACR’s motion to dismiss.
The judge said DCA had failed to make claims for fraud, contract intereference and unfair competition.
He also threw out DCA’s demand for ZACR’s .africa Registry Agreement to be scrapped.
The case is not over, however.
DCA’s claims against ICANN still stand and ICANN, perhaps regrettably, withdrew its own motion to dismiss the case weeks ago. The case still looks like heading to trial.
DCA reckons ICANN, ZACR, independent evaluator InterConnect Communications, and the Governmental Advisory Committee improperly ganged up on it, in breach of its new gTLD application contract.
The judge has already ruled that the litigation waiver DCA signed when it applied for
.dotafrica .africa may be unenforceable.
He also based a decision to give DCA’s claims the benefit of the doubt on a huge misunderstanding of the facts, which he has yet to address publicly.
You can read the judge’s latest order here (pdf).
Under an injunction DCA won, .africa cannot be delegated until the case is resolved.