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New Information for Geographic gTLD Applicants

ICANN to Require Multi-Territory Cooperation on Select New Geographic gTLDs

October 15, 2008; 12:33 AM


If you are an organization currently looking to register a new gTLD for a specific geographic area, make sure you have all the facts before you apply. If your application does not stress multi-territory cooperation for your geographic gTLD or governmental support, ICANN will likely deny your application.


In a letter posted to the ICANN website on October 8th, 2008 but dated October 2nd, ICANN CEO & President Paul Twomey covers an issue surrounding geographic gTLDs with the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Final Report on the Introduction of New gTLDs and one of the founding principles of the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC).


The principle in question is GAC's Public Policy Principle 2.2 which states that “ICANN should avoid country, territory or place names, and country, territory or regional language or people descriptions, unless in agreement with the relevant government or public authorities.”


For organizations looking to apply for a Country or Territory name, Paul Twomey offers this warning, “…applicants will be required to provide supporting documentation, or evidence of non-objection to the use of the string, from the relevant government or public authority. Where there is no supporting documentation and the string clearly represents a country or territory name the application will be rejected.” The good news for these applicants is that there is the ISO 3166-1 list. This list was outlined by the ICANN community and defines country and territory names.


For organizations looking to apply for a new geographic gTLD that relates to a county, state or province, ICANN offers the ISO 3166-2 country sub-division list. Again Paul Twomey states that “…ICANN will require the applicant to supply supporting documentation, or evidence of non-objection, by all the relevant governments or public authorities claiming such authority.”


Finally are the organizations with intentions to apply for a city-named new gTLD. This is the most granular level of the geographic gTLDs and is the most promising and lucrative one to organizations. ICANN looks to applicants to make it clear that they are applying for the city name and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.


For unique city names Paul Twomey say that “It will not be necessary for an applicant to receive a non-objection from governments or public authorities considered outside the jurisdiction of the city intended to be represented by the applicant.”


For applications targeting the same city name where the applicants have the support of the relevant governments and authorities, Paul Twomey writes “applicants will be placed in contact with each other and asked to resolve the contention. This is consistent with IANA processes regarding contested delegation of ccTLDs.”


Questions, concerns or need help with your geographic gTLD application? Contact TLD Managers at [email protected].

Original Article:


Matthew Diehl
CEO & Founder
TLD Managers
[email protected]

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