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Who’s objecting to .sport, .health, .kids and more

Kevin Murphy, August 2, 2012, 21:53:22 (UTC), Domain Registries

Today, the number of comments filed with ICANN on new gTLD applications surpassed the number of applications themselves, and we’re now starting to see more significant objections.
At the time of writing, 1,939 comments have been filed on 584 applications by 834 unique individuals and organizations.
Here are some recent comments from notable organizations.
Save the Children
The international charitable non-governmental organization Save the Children has expressed concerns about all four .health applications.
Here’s a snippet:

The health Internet is a vital means of health information access worldwide. Thus, “.health” and health related top level domains should be trusted and reliable resources which take the public interest into account and are based on broad-based, multi-stakeholder consensus. In this regard, it is particularly worrying that the current applicants intend to sell the “.health” gTLD on a ‘first-come, first-served’, wholesale and auction basis, placing private interests ahead of the public interest.
We urge ICANN to postpone the assignment of “.health” until such time as following broad-based consultation of the health community, including the public and private sectors, adequate baseline conditions for their operation are elaborated and their implementation and observance is ensured.

The same comment was filed by International Medical Informatics Association, indicating an orchestrated campaign is underway.
All were filed as Community Objection Grounds, suggesting that .health could run into objection delays down the road.
But Save the Children, which has better things to do with its money, may not necessarily object itself. I’d say .health is a prime candidate for a community-based intervention by the Independent Objector.
I’m also expecting the Governmental Advisory Committee to take a healthy interest in these applications.
International Olympic Committee
The International Olympic Committee has, as expected, thrown its support behind the .sport application filed by SportAccord, which already has strong ties with the Olympic movement.
There are only two applications for .sport (though Donuts is going for .sports) and while SportAccord’s is a community-based bid, a successful Community Priority Evaluation is by no means assured.
However, if the IOC is half as belligerent about .sport as it has been about the new gTLD program in general then I expect Famous Four Media, the other .sport applicant, has a fight on its hands.
Notably, the IOC invokes ICANN’s new IANA contract to back up its claim that SportAccord should be the rightful owner of .sport:

new IANA contractual requirements require ICANN in connection with new gTLDs to document “how the process provided the opportunity for input from relevant stakeholders and was supportive of the global public interest. “ Therefore, SportAccord is the only applicant for the .SPORT gTLD which can serve the global public interest in connection with the operation of the gTLD on behalf of the global sports community.

Lego Juris
Lego Juris, the extremely brand-conscious producer of overpriced kids’ building blocks, has filed complaints about 80 applications, all of which appear to be the same form letter.
As you might imagine from the most prolific filer of UDRP complaints in history, Lego’s primary concern is cybersquatting and preventing the need for defensive registrations.
Here’s Lego’s comment:

While we of course support enhanced fair competition, we call on the evaluators to ensure the maintenance of a clean Internet space by impressing on the new registries the importance of not accepting second level names within their gTLDs that may be confusingly similar to our trade marks, especially from applicants believed to be registering in bad faith.
To avoid consumer confusion and the wasted resources of needless dispute resolution procedures, legal actions and defensive registrations (none of which benefit consumers), as well as proving to the entire community that the registries do wish to act in good faith in a clean space, we request that new registries develop “blocked” lists of brand names that should not be registered absent evidence of good faith. Such lists could take the form of “white lists” at the second level that could only be lifted if requested by and for the brand owner.

This comment was filed against .kids, .group, .inc, .gmbh, .discount, .deals, .direct and many, many more.
All of these comments, incidentally, are logged in the DI PRO new gTLD application database.

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Comments (9)

  1. DnTv says:

    Wouldn’t Leggo’s time be better spent building up the .lego brand …..did they apply ?

  2. Snoozer says:

    the gtlds are going down faster that you can say .mobi

  3. Moris says:

    Arent trademarks goign to be put on hold in the Trademark Clearing House??
    How can one make sure the TMCH does not include names like sport or sports or any other generic word??
    This has many implications for .com owners!
    The more people think that its acceptable to trademark a generic term -and manage to get it into the TMCH the more chances they have of reverse hijacking generic domains.
    If generic names will be put in the TMCH and on hold in new gTLD for Trademark owners they will use that in future UDRP’s as evidence that ICANN too gives them priority on generics and accepts the fact that they have rights over these domains.
    This will seriously affect .com owners as they will go after them way more than today and will have more ammo to use backed by the TMCH.

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      If you have a trademark on a dictionary word, it’s eligible for inclusion in the TMCH.
      That means you’re eligible to buy it during sunrise periods and that you’ll get a notice when somebody else registers it in a new gTLD.
      They’re not put “on hold”, however.

      • Moris says:

        Its not right. In general generic names are not allowed to be trademarked.
        There have also been cases where some of the new gTLD applicants tried to get a TM on their extension and lost it once USPTO was notified.
        In Russia there was a big stink how some companies TM generics and got them in the sunrise. Later they lost them b/c generics are not allowed to be TM, and if they somehow managed to do it, then they have no priority.
        If generics will be allowed into the TMCH then all the registries who thought they would reserve names for vip clients or for auction – will end up losing quite a bit.
        Many registries planned on auctioning certain names but if those names are taken by TM holders then they will have a lot less names to sell or give out.

        • Avtal says:

          Generic words can be trademarked. “Apple” is a well-known example.
          You are correct that there was a big stink in Russia over the trademark sunrise for the .рф ccTLD. Brand-new companies registered brand-new trademarks for high-value generic words such as банк (bank) and музика (music) in order to snatch the corresponding domains during the sunrise period. You are not correct, though, in saying that this scheme failed. In fact, a check of whois for these domains shows that they have the same owners as they had back in 2009, when they were acquired during the sunrise.

  4. jam says:

    ICANN’s response,
    “We take utmost concern about blah blah blah”
    “We have taken major steps to ensure blah blah”
    “Are motive is not money blah blah blah”

  5. muahaha says:

    a dead duck before they start
    are you listening Frankie?

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