Cybersquatters Not Allowed to Apply for New gTLDs

Cybersquatters not allowed to apply for new TLDs. Does that include domain registrars?

The latest version of ICANN’s guidebook for new top level domain name applicants includes language to prohibit cybersquatters from applying for new top level domain names. This could have interesting implications if people get technical about it.

First, here’s who is not allowed to apply:

b. Applicant, or any partner, officer, director, or manager, or any person or entity owning (or beneficially owning) fifteen percent or more of applicant is the subject of a pattern of decisions indicating liability for, or repeated practice of bad faith in regard to domain name registrations, including:

i. acquiring domain names primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registrations to the owner of a trademark or service mark or to a competitor, for valuable
consideration in excess of documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or

ii. registering domain names in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name; or

iii. registering domain names primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or

iv. using domain names with intent to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to a web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with a trademark or service mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the web site or location or of a product or service on the web site or location.

In other words, anyone who has lost a number of domains through UDRP need not apply. That includes many of the companies I suspect are looking into applying for new top level domains. But some of them are good at hiding it by transferring domains in return for the complainant dropping the case, so UDRP records are not a reliable record of their actions.

I wonder if some new gTLD applicants are quietly sweating this one out.


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