[Gnso-newgtld-wg] Generic words belong to everyone in a business or industry

Alexander Schubert alexander at schubert.berlin
Tue Feb 18 20:25:43 UTC 2020



This is a contradiction. If the board denied “closed generics” (gTLD applications for generic keyword based strings) in 2012 then they did for a REASON. Unless the board specified a “conditional aspect” for that reason then the rationale for that decision hasn’t changed just because a decade went by. So the “ground rule” would be to keep the application rules as they were in 2012 – namely denying closed generics. UNLESS the gNSO develops new recommendations – which then need a new board approval.

Some might argue that in 2012 the “problem” with closed generics wasn’t that bad: only a few dozen generic terms where taken by industry leaders (apparently mostly to just block off the entire vertical). So why bothering?

Well: In 2012 the COST for a new gTLD was enormous! Application writing and submission wasn’t yet streamlined and expensive. Consulting (partly due to a steep “learning curve”) was expensive. Application fees alone where almost US $200k. By definition in 2012 there was no PRECEDENCE that industry leaders would snag up entire category defining killer keyword based gTLDs. The entire “new gTLD” issue was “murky”.

All of this will have DRASTICALLY changed by 2022:

*        There will be a DECADE of public experience and exposure of the new gTLD program and new gTLDs

*        The consulting and application submission related fees will be DRASTICALLY lower – some consultants already offer packages lower than US $30k – which includes application writing, submission, contracting and testing!

*        The application fee will likely be low, too. Some already fabulize about US $25k fee floors – or even BELOW!

*        The “myth” that leading industry giants are massively hoarding “their” verticals (industry defining category killer generic terms) ain’t a “myth” anymore: it’s a viable truth – proven by the 2012 application roster.

*        Consultants will swarm out to big corporations who have ample marketing budgets and inflated egos: “If YOU are not securing ‘.CategoryDefiningKeyword’ then your competition will: be clever and have at minimum a horse in the race: let us apply for it on your behalf”. Image how incredibly STUPID the head of digital marketing of a Multi-Billion corporation looks if their smaller competitor controls  “their” category keyword gTLD: this could cost him his head. In comparison for the price of a half page New York Times ad he could play hero and showcase to his board how “farsighted” he is. 


So if anything then the underlying “problem” that lead the board in 2012 to deny “closed generics” only got worse – MUCH worse: Lower “fees & overall cost” combined with established precedence = disaster!


And while we have an obligation to keep harm away from the Internet community by continuing to deny “closed generics” that logically implies that we also make sure that in the 2nd round there will be no possibility for “effectively closed generics”: namely generic term based open applications that prove their “public interest” by promising launch periods (e.g. the Sunrise period) – but then never EXECUTE the Sunrise period – but rather are closed to the public and still allow the applicant to run 100 domains.  If you have a Sunrise period in your application then you ought to execute that in a reasonable frame of time – or else you render the gTLD “closed”. I suggest we provide 12 month (extendable by another 12 month if reasons are provided for the delay) to launch your Sunrise (if you have one in your application) – but at BARE MINUMUM ICANN should be crystal clear that for registries that have a Sunrise in their application any “contract renewal expectation” will only apply if such Sunrise has been executed. Otherwise industry giants will simply snag up category defining keyword based gTLDs – and leave them inactive – just to make sure they “control the namespace”. Or they use their 100 domains and effectively run it as closed generic.


If the general public (or Congress for that matter) would get wind of how sloppy we are protecting the public interest here: they would go bananas. 






From: Gnso-newgtld-wg [mailto:gnso-newgtld-wg-bounces at icann.org] On Behalf Of Aikman-Scalese, Anne
Sent: Dienstag, 18. Februar 2020 12:16
To: Kathy Kleiman <kathy at kathykleiman.com>; gnso-newgtld-wg at icann.org
Subject: Re: [Gnso-newgtld-wg] Generic words belong to everyone in a business or industry


HI Kathy,

I do think it’s important for the WG to understand what Jeff’s position is procedurally on this topic.  It appears to me that Paul is correct that there was no policy against Closed Generics in 2012 and that the Board resolution is limited to the 2012 round.  So if we stick with the “ground rules” of the PDP, it appears that the next round will be “open season” for Closed Generic applications.  This is especially important to consider now that the Working Group has taken a “rough consensus” position (with some of us dissenting)  that going forward, if a string is applied for in the next round, that application will act as a complete bar to applications for the same string in any subsequent round. 


I would strongly advocate for skipping this topic in the next call and scheduling it for the F2F meeting.




From: Gnso-newgtld-wg <gnso-newgtld-wg-bounces at icann.org <mailto:gnso-newgtld-wg-bounces at icann.org> > On Behalf Of Kathy Kleiman
Sent: Tuesday, February 18, 2020 8:36 AM
To: gnso-newgtld-wg at icann.org <mailto:gnso-newgtld-wg at icann.org> 
Subject: [Gnso-newgtld-wg] Generic words belong to everyone in a business or industry




As we revisit the topic of Closed Generics, I would like to share a few thoughts as a reminder on how this issue (of "generic words") has been dealt with in other forums. This is a long-established issue...  

1) Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure, US Trademark Office: 

"Generic terms are incapable of functioning as marks denoting source, and are not registrable on the Principal Register under §2(f) or on the Supplemental Register." 807.14(e)(ii)

2) Our own Community Objection process reviewed and raised the same deep concerns for gTLDs in which the applicant (a competitor in a field)

ICC New gTLD Community Objections determination:  "The establishment of unrestricted, exclusive rights to a gTLD that is strongly associated with a certain community or communities, particularly where those communities are, or are likely to be, active in the Internet sphere seems to me inherently detrimental to those communities' interests."  [Note: the "communities" being referred to here are commercial communities.  The issue of a closed .MOBILE was raised by the CTIA which represents the US mobile wireless industry.  1-1316-6133

Best, Kathy



This message and any attachments are intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which they are addressed. If the reader of this message or an attachment is not the intended recipient or the employee or agent responsible for delivering the message or attachment to the intended recipient you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this message or any attachment is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately by replying to the sender. The information transmitted in this message and any attachments may be privileged, is intended only for the personal and confidential use of the intended recipients, and is covered by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. §2510-2521. 

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mm.icann.org/pipermail/gnso-newgtld-wg/attachments/20200218/29497d9e/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the Gnso-newgtld-wg mailing list