New gTLDs & objection procedures: what are the next steps?

The objection procedure period closed on March 13, 2013. Beforehand, it was possible to file an objection against alleged disputed gTLD strings, based on the following grounds:

–          the Legal Rights Objection that requires to first prove the said rights in order to protect its trademark rights;

–          the String Confusion Objection, for a likelihood of confusion between the disputed gTLD string and an existing TLD or another gTLD string application;

–          the Limited Public Interest Objection against a gTLD string that “is contrary to generally accepted legal norms of morality and public order that are recognized under principles of international law”;

–          the Community objection: the community invoked by the objector must be strongly associated to the disputed gTLD string; and

–          the Independent Objector, Alain Pellet, can file an objection if no objection has been filed against a gTLD string application, on the basis of the limited public interest and the Community Interest.

After an administrative checking of each objection by the arbitration centers, the one duly filed are processed and then gradually published on their website.

We are currently in that objection publication period. Presently, all of the objections have not been released yet.

On April 12, ICANN will publish all the submitted objections. Thus, each applicant targeted by one or more objections will be formally notified by the arbitration center. Then, the applicants will have a period of 30 days from the electronic notice transmission to submit their response. The failure or delay of response will be considered as a withdrawal: the objector will succeed.

After a further period of 30 days, the arbitration center will appoint an expert who will have 45 days to resolve the dispute (except procedural issue).

Depending on the decision of the expert, the application will be withdrawn or the process will continue.

To be continued …