ICANN seeks comment on “closed generic” gTLDs

Posted On February 26, 2013
In Domain Names, Trade Marks in Cyberspace / Reply

Following concerns expressed by brand owners, governments and other stakeholders, ICANN has opened for public comment the issue of whether and when applications for new gTLDs that are generic may be “closed”.

A “closed” gTLD is one in which the applicant for it proposes to operate it exclusively for its own benefit – i.e. where registrations by third parties will not be permitted.

Various stakeholders, including Microsoft, have written to ICANN expressing concern that closed generic TLDs are inappropriately exclusive, and will be anti-competitive and limit consumer choice.

ICANN’s call for comment seeks input on two issues:

  1. how to determine whether a string is “generic”; and
  2. the criteria for determining if a generic TLD should be “open” or “closed”

The period for comment closes on 7 March 2012.

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