Tata Group is reportedly considering buying a school for the Moroccan province of Tata in order to unlock the .tata gTLD.
The huge Indian conglomerate has been prevented from acquiring its own dot-brand because it matches the name of the tiny region, which is as protected geographic string under ICANN rules.
Without the express permission of Morocco, Tata will not get its desired domain.
According to the New Indian Express newspaper, the company has now reached out to the Indian government in an attempt to open diplomatic channels with Morocco and finally resolve the issue.
The paper cites an unnamed “official” as stating that buying a new school for the province may be the best way to “open the door” to a formal non-objection.
That has precedent.
New gTLD registry Punto 2012, managed to get a non-objection for its .bar application from Montenegro by offering to pay $100,000, spread over 10 years, to fund a school in the Bar region of the country.
Tata came close to acquiring .tata in 2014.
It was the final new gTLD application to pass its evaluation, after it managed to produce a letter from Morocco that was taken as a non-objection.
But Morocco’s digital minister subsequently objected, denying that the government had permitted the use of the string.
Tata’s application was then returned to its Geographic Names Review, which it flunked last December.
Since then, the bid has been marked “Will Not Proceed”, a status that usually only changes when an application is withdrawn.