[Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5] [Ext] AW: Action Item - City Name (i.e., non-capital city name) Definition Research

Steve Chan steve.chan at icann.org
Fri Nov 16 21:51:50 UTC 2018

Dear Jorge,

This is policy staff work in conjunction with our colleagues in GDD who supported the New gTLD Program. We have a high level of certainty that our understanding is accurate. The criteria in the Applicant Guidebook (AGB) for city names, that served as the basis for the Geographic Names Panel analysis specifically notes that, " Unlike other types of geographic names, there are no established lists that can be used as objective references in the evaluation process." Therefore, the Geographic Names Panel utilized the criteria in the AGB rather than attempting to formulate a prescriptive list, which would have been a significant departure from the AGB. 

The Geographic Names Panel is no longer constituted, so to the extent the Work Track believes this research for the 2012 round needs to be further validated by some of the former panel members, that would need to be done as informal outreach.


On 11/15/18, 8:51 PM, "Jorge.Cancio at bakom.admin.ch" <Jorge.Cancio at bakom.admin.ch> wrote:

    Hi Steve
    Is this staff work/research or was the Geographic Panel (its members) consulted as we asked for?
    If not, why?
    Von: Steve Chan <steve.chan at icann.org>
    Datum: 16. November 2018 um 01:02:51 MEZ
    Bis: gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 at icann.org <gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 at icann.org>
    Betreff: [Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5] Action Item - City Name (i.e., non-capital city name) Definition Research
    Dear Work Track 5 Members,
    During the Work Track 5 sessions at ICANN63, some participants expressed the belief that the Geographic Names Panel must have utilized a definition to identify applied-for gTLDs that were non-capital city names. Determining if there was a definition, and tracking it down, was an action item from this session.
    As a first step, staff reviewed the Evaluation Panel Process Documentation for the Geographic Names Panel (here: https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__newgtlds.icann.org_en_program-2Dstatus_evaluation-2Dpanels_geo-2Dnames-2Dprocess-2D07jun13-2Den.pdf&d=DwIGaQ&c=FmY1u3PJp6wrcrwll3mSVzgfkbPSS6sJms7xcl4I5cM&r=UAy6fqdE7uFkRCc7uzN4yui8bwTtqofadZHiQEIO1vw&m=rK19wQd1ajrUvZxA9eyOXgturnxbv4FpA8N8DOzc9V0&s=cwIM6Rw8Qnr8LrvOtoGz2KHCE1W73zFFS_XnHFDR_Ks&e=). Here, we understand that all applications are checked against country or territory names (or other lists that would cause the applied-for TLD to be ineligible for delegation), regardless of whether the applicant believes the string is Geographic Name.
    Assuming the applied-for string passes this initial lookup, the panel will then review the application and the applied-for gTLD to determine whether or not the string is a Geographic Name (again, regardless of whether the applicant believes the string is Geographic Name).
    In some circumstances, where there is a precise list for the Geographic Names Panel to use as a reference (e.g., capital city names, sub-national place name, UNESCO region or appearing on the “Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings” list), this process is relatively straight-forward.
    However, for city names (or non-capital city names as they are being referred to in Work Track 5), there is no objective reference to utilize. In this circumstance, per the Applicant Guidebook, the string AND the applicant’s statements in their application were considered collectively to determine whether the applied-for string should be subject to the geographic names requirements. As such, there does not appear to be a definition that can be leveraged by Work Track 5. For your convenience, the city name Geographic Names criteria is reproduced below.
    Please let us know if you have any questions.
    2. An application for a city name, where the applicant declares that it intends to use the gTLD for purposes associated with the city name.
    City names present challenges because city names may also be generic terms or brand names, and in many cases city names are not unique. Unlike other types of geographic names, there are no established lists that can be used as objective references in the evaluation process. Thus, city names are not universally protected. However, the process does provide a means for cities and applicants to work together where desired.
    An application for a city name will be subject to the geographic names requirements (i.e., will require documentation of support or non-objection from the relevant governments or public authorities) if:
    (a) It is clear from applicant statements within the application that the applicant will use the TLD primarily for purposes associated with the city name; and
    (b) The applied-for string is a city name as listed on official city documents. [**see footnote below]
    ** City governments with concerns about strings that are duplicates, nicknames or close renderings of a city name should not rely on the evaluation process as the primary means of protecting their interests in a string. Rather, a government may elect to file a formal objection to an application that is opposed by the relevant community, or may submit its own application for the string.
    Steven Chan

    Policy Director, GNSO Support
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