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The price of .bar was $100,000 to a school

Wondering how the new gTLD registry Punto 2012 managed to get government approval for .bar, even though it’s a protected geographic term in Montenegro under ICANN rules?

At least part of the deal seems to involve a 10-year, $100,000 commitment to fund a school in the tiny Montenegrin city of Bar, judging by a press release today.

The registry will pay $10,000 a year to the school for the duration of its 10-year registry agreement.

It’s a stroke of good fortune for the city. Whilst not a capital city, it’s also a ISO-designated administrative region of the country and therefore protected by the ICANN Applicant Guidebook.

Punto 2012 intends to reserve a few names for the city, and said it hopes residents will use .bar — intended to represent drinking establishments — as a city TLD also.

With a little over 17,000 inhabitants, Bar is likely going to be have one of the smaller city TLDs, and I expect most registrations will in fact come from bars elsewhere in the world.

In related news, as of last Friday there’s only one new gTLD application of the original 1,930 still under ICANN evaluation and it’s .tata, the dot-brand for a massive Indian conglomerate that is also the name of a province in Morocco. Coincidence? Probably not.

Ten more new gTLDs get ICANN contracts

Kevin Murphy, December 13, 2013, Domain Registries

.bar, .pub, .fish, .actor, .caravan, .saarland, .yokohama, .ren, .eus and .рус all have new gTLD contracts with ICANN as of yesterday.

It’s an eclectic batch of TLDs. Unusually, only one belongs to Donuts.

Of note is .caravan, which on the face of it looks like an English-language generic, but which is actually a closed, single-registrant dot-brand.

While “caravan” is an English dictionary word in the UK and Australasia, in the US it’s a 50-year-old trademark belonging to Illinois-based applicant Caravan International.

The Governmental Advisory Committee never flagged up .caravan as a “closed generic” in its Beijing Communique, so ICANN never questioned how it would be used.

However, the application states that the company plans “to reserve all names within the TLD to itself”.

What we seem to have here is a case of a dictionary word in one part of the world being captured by a single-registrant applicant due to a trademark elsewhere.

Another notable new Registry Agreement signatory is Punto 2012, which has obtained a contract for .bar.

The gTLD was originally contested, but Demand Media’s United TLD withdrew following an RFP held by the government of Montenegro, which had an effective veto over the string “Bar” due to a match with the protected name of one of its administrative regions.

I gather Montenegro will be paid in some way from the .bar registry pot.

There are also a few new geographic/cultural registries this week: .eus for the Basque people of Spain, .yokohama for a Japanese city, .saarland for a German state and the Cyrillic IDN .рус for a subset of the Russian people.

The only .brand is .ren, for the Chinese social network Renren.

The remainder are English-language generics.

Demand Media withdraws .bar application

Demand Media has withdrawn is application for the .bar new gTLD.

It’s the first of the company’s applications, filed via its United TLD subsidiary, to be withdrawn.

It was in a contention set with only one other applicant, a Mexican venture by the catchy name of Punto 2012 Sociedad Anonima de Capital Variable, which has also applied for .cafe and .rest.

There are now 97 withdrawn applications and a maximum of 1,357 future delegated gTLDs.