[Spec13-request] .food PIC

Leroy, Natalie Natalie.Leroy at cscglobal.com
Wed Oct 7 08:37:24 UTC 2015


I am writing to share my comments on .food, whose applicant Lifestyle Domain Holdings, Inc. has expressed the intention to operate a closed gTLD under Spec.13.

Spec. 13 which allows registries to operate a closed TLD, only applies if a certain number of requirements are met, one of which is that a TLD must not be generic string - I fail to see therefore how LifeStyle Domain Holdings can even entertain the notion that they qualify. I also fail to see why ICANN, who has been keen to show that they take trademark rights seriously, even indulges LifeStyle Domain Holdings in their intention not to modify their application. Trademark rights should be protected under the new gTLD programme, but it should certainly not swing the over way to allow common terms to be used exclusively as though they benefitted from trademark protection. Yes in all likelihood there will be some cybersquatting under .food, but no more than currently under .com - allowing .food to be a closed TLD would impede healthy competition with genuine registrants.

I see generic string new gTLDs as an extension of international trademark classifications under the Nice Agreement - in that respect they are a fantastic opportunity to allow products and services that share matching or similar names to operate in the domain name space under various TLDs that will differentiate between them in an intelligent and intuitive manner for end users. A TLD such as .food represents this exactly - it cannot be closed, otherwise it makes a farce of the whole programme and ICANN will lose all credibility.

Best regards,

Natalie Leroy
European Brand Advisor
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