Australia dominates Early Warning Notices on new gTLDs

Posted On November 22, 2012
In Domain Names / Reply

The Australian government has filed over 130 early warning notices objecting to applications for new gTLDs, well more than any other country.

The new gTLDs to which Australia has objected include .gripe, .sucks and .wtf – on the basis that they have an “overtly negative or critical connotation” and the applicant does not appear to have proposed sufficient mechanisms “to address the potential for a high level of defensive registrations”.

Australia has also objected to a large number of generic gTLDs.  These include descriptions of professions, such as .dentist and .doctor, on the basis that these strings are linked to “a regulated market sector” and the applicant has not proposed sufficient mechanisms “to minimise potential consumer harm”. Other generic gTLDs objected to include .city and .town, on the basis that these are generic geographic terms for which the applicant has not proposed sufficient mechanisms to protect the name and reputation of communities from misuse.

Other countries have objected to specific geographic gTLDs: Switzerland to .swiss (by Swiss International Air Lines), Argentina and Chile to .patagonia (by Patagonia, Inc.), and numerous African countries to the .africa (by DotConnect Africa Trust).

Applicants can follow up the early warning notices with changes to their applications to address the governments’ concerns, or withdraw their applications and save 80 percent of the US$180,000 application fee. Alternatively, they can go forward and risk getting blocked by an official objection later in the process.

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