Within the new gTLDs framework, Icann had set a 60 days period for public comments on issued applications, that is to say until August 12. Facing the large number of applications (1927), the numerous comments already issued (more than 5000) and the insisting request for an extension of the public comments period, Icann announced a 45 days extension (that is to say, until September 26, 2012).
Public comments are of high importance insofar as they are then forwarded to the evaluation panels to review and consider as part of application’s evaluation. Comments can be done regarding one of the following criteria:
– String Confusion Objection
– Legal Rights Objection
– Limited Public Interest Objection (morality or public order)
– Community Objection
These comments will not be considered as formal objections and will not by themselves block an application from being evaluated.
Public comments: a dual interest
If the first effect of a public comment is to make publicly known the opinion of a company or of an organization concerning specific applications, and thus to attempt to influence the evaluation panel decision, there is a second effect that appears through the Independent Objector.
The latter, appointed by Icann, is responsible for filing – at his sole discretion – formal objections to applications that would undermine public order or community interests. His role is on the other side limited to the applications that have been the subject of a public comment.
With more than 1900 applications for TLDs covering many fields, the Internet business and SEO ranking of companies will be impacted in the coming years.
Posting a public comment before September 26 is thus the best option in order to make known one’s objection to certain applications.