Alain Pellet, the new gTLD program’s Independent Objector, has filed 24 official objections against new gTLD applications.
Five of its 13 Community Objections are against dot-brands that have geographical meanings — Amazon’s .amazon and three translations, an outdoor clothing maker’s bid for .patagonia and a Mumbai cricket team’s application for .indians.
Other recipients are the two applications for .charity and the one for the Chinese translation .慈善.
Every other objection is related in some way to health.
The remaining six Community Objections target .med, .health, .healthcare and .hospital bids.
Limited Public Interest Objections have also been filed against the four .health applications, .healthcare, the four .med bids and the one .hospital.
That’s right, the .hospital and .healthcare applications, both filed by Donuts subsidiaries, have been hit twice.
Donuts is not the only one: Google’s .med bid has a Community Objection and a Limited Public Interest objection too.
The reasons for the objections do not appear to have been published yet.
The objections stand to delay each of the target apps by about five months, according to ICANN’s timetable.
The full list of IO objections can be found here.
Argentinian ccTLD manager NIC Argentina offered its Twitter followers prizes if they commented on the controversial .patagonia gTLD application.
Earlier this week, the company tweeted a few times:
— Nic Argentina (.ar) (@nicargentina) September 25, 2012
My Spanish isn’t great, but this appears to be a prize draw for “kits de calcos” — stickers or decals of some kind — for followers submitting comments against .patagonia.
The .patagonia application, a dot-brand bid filed by a clothing retailer, has caused a huge ruckus in Argentina, where Patagonia is a large geographic region.
The application has received over 1,500 comments to date, pretty much all of which are from disgruntled Latin Americans.
Argentina has escalated its complaint with ICANN about the new gTLD application for .patagonia.
Ambassador Alfredo Morelli of the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has written to ICANN’s leadership to let them know that .patagonia “should not be used as a closed brand gTLD”.
An American clothing company that goes by the name of Patagonia Inc has applied for .patagonia, which it intends to use as a dot-brand, but Patagonia is also a region of South America.
Argentina’s Governmental Advisory Committee representative told ICANN’s board in Prague this June that the government would not stand for a geographic term for part of its country being used in this way.
But Argentina has a problem.
The new gTLD program rules, as spelled out in the Applicant Guidebook, give special protection to geographic strings, but only if they appear on certain lists.
Rather than create its own list of geographic strings, ICANN instead deferred to established international standards, such as ISO 3166.
Patagonia, as far as I can tell, does not appear on any of these lists. (The DI PRO database compares all applied-for strings against protected geographic names.)
While it’s undoubtedly the name of a region, covering parts of Argentina and Chile, it does not appear to be the name of the kind of administrative division covered by ISO 3166-2.
Judging by the Applicant Guidebook, ICANN’s Geographic Names Panel would therefore not designate .patagonia as geographic and the applicant would not have to secure government support for its bid.
It’s not clear from the Guidebook how much flexibility, if any, the panel will get to make subjective decisions with edge cases like this.
However, so much of the program that had been thought finalized is today apparently still open for negotiation that I wouldn’t be surprised if the rules are changed or reinterpreted.
While the .patagonia application has so far attracted almost 300 negative comments from internet users, it is not the only dot-brand to ruffle feathers in Argentina.
There has been a smaller outcry over the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s application for .cba, which apparently matches the abbreviation of the Argentinian Province of Cordoba.
The string “CBA” does not appear to be protected by the Applicant Guidebook either, and I’ve not seen any official concerns raised by governments yet.
I think there’s a strong chance the .patagonia application is dead, even if it is not officially deemed geographic.
The GAC will almost certainly object, and even if the objection does not have consensus the ICANN board will have a big reason to reject the bid.