ICANN New gTLD Dispute Resolution
In an effort to protect and support a stable Internet, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”) has implemented a programme for the introduction of new generic Top-Level Domain Names (“gTLDs”). All disputes arising out of the application for new gTLDs will be resolved following the programme’s dispute resolution procedure: the New gTLD Dispute Resolution Procedure.
The New gTLD Dispute Resolution Procedure is administered by three institutions: the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), the ICC International Centre for ADR (Centre) and the Arbitration and Mediation Centre of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
The Centre will administer the Procedure under the ICC Rules for Expertise, which has been in force as of 1 January 2003. The Rules are supplemented by a Practice Note on the Administration of Cases under the Procedure under the New gTLD Dispute Resolution Procedure.
The Procedure provides that Objections to a gTLD application can be filed on four different grounds:
- String confusion Objection – when the Objector alleges that the applied-for gTLD string is confusingly similar to an existing top-level domain or to another applied-for gTLD string in the same round of applications. ICDR will administer disputes arising on this ground.
- Legal Rights Objection – when the Objector alleges that the applied-for gTLD string infringes on the existing legal rights of the Objector. WIPO will administer disputes arising on this ground.
- Limited Public Interest Objections – when the Objector alleges that the applied-for gTLD string is contrary to generally accepted legal norms of morality and public order that are recognised under international principles of law. The Centre will administer disputes arising on this ground.
- Community Objection – when the Objector alleges that there is substantial opposition to the gTLD application from a significant portion of the community to which the gTLD string may be explicitly or implicitly targeted. The Centre will administer disputes arising on this ground.
Further information about the specificities of each of the four Objection grounds, as well as on the standing to object, are available in Module 3 to the New gTLD Applicant Guidebook published by ICANN, the New gTLD Dispute Resolution Procedure published by ICANN and via ICANN’s website.