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ICANN Tells POLITICO On Closed Generic gTLD’s: “The Train is Leaving the Station”

Posted on the 20 February 2013 by Worldwide @thedomains

Politico has posted about the new gTLD closed generic controversy asking “should a company be allowed to run a generic term such as tire, insurance or book as a domain and wall off its use from competitors?”

In response, Akram Atallah, ICANN’s chief operating officer, told POLITICO “The train is leaving the station,”

“There are a few instances where stakeholders are feeling this is an issue that could limit competition, and therefore, we should bring it to the forefront.”Philip Corwin, founding principal of Virtualaw, who has one client competing with Google for some of the terms, said he will begin to lobby officials in Washington and Europe. “It is emerging as a big issue and one that is beyond ICANN but the future of e-commerce,” he said.” “Atallah said that having a generic term is not a guaranteed ticket to success”.”The owner has to “do a lot of marketing and business development to be relevant in the marketplace,”

“It is not a given just by having the name, you have market share. ”

“It is not just the name that makes the name”.

I find that an interesting statement from one of the heads of the orgazation which took in a 1/3 of a billion of dollars in application fees, well just for the “name”.

As we have pointed out repeatedly ICANN could have and should have dealt with this issue as part of the multiyear discussion on the new gTLD program and in the many versions of the Guidebook itself.

It is should have one of the basic issues of the program whether one company would be allowed to operate a generic extension on a closed basis and thereby own the vertical.

While we don’t think its a good idea to allow it, the lawyer side of my brain tells me that issue should have been discussed and decided before ICANN started to accept applications and $185,000 in fees per application.


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