TATA Group, the $83-billion-a-year Indian conglomerate, has confirmed to local media that it has applied for the new dot-brand top-level domain .tata.
Reporting on the approximately 50 new gTLD applications known so far to originate in India, the Business Standard confirmed the .tata bid.
But the company may find itself on the receiving end of nasty surprise — Tata is a protected geographical string under ICANN’s new gTLD rules.
Tata is also a Moroccan province listed in the ISO 3166-2 standard and the string is therefore recognized as a “sub-national place name” that gets special privileges.
Such strings are “considered geographic names and must be accompanied by documentation of support or non-objection from the relevant governments or public authorities”, according to the ICANN Applicant Guidebook.
While it will be up to the Geographic Names Panel to make the call, “tata” looks to me like a pretty straightforward case of a protected string.
Has Tata obtained this consent from Morocco already? I guess we’ll find out on June 13, when ICANN reveals the public portions of all 1,900-plus new gTLD applications.
Tata also colloquially means “boob” in American.