July 21, 2017
Amazon EU S. a. r. l. (Amazon) has applied for dozens of new gTLDs. Among them was .amazon and its Chinese (.亚马逊) and Japanese (.アマゾン) equivalents. The three applications were the subject of an objection from ICANN’s GAC (Governmental Advisory Committee), , at the request of Brazil and Peru. The representatives of these countries believed that the attribution of .amazon and its equivalents to Amazon could harm countries from the Amazon region. Despite Amazon’s concessions, the Board of ICANN rejected the three applications in 2014.
Amazon appealed the decision and following a second refusal requested an independent review by the ICDR International Center for Dispute Resolution, this remedy being available in the new gTLDs program.
The ICDR rendered a decision decision on July 10, 2017 in favour of Amazon, requesting the Board of ICANN to re-examine Amazon’s applications and to determine, objectively and independently, whether or not there are grounds for denying Amazon’s applications.
New gTLD applications consisting of geographic terms are a sticky issue. The PATAGONIA and TATA brands were subjected to opposition from the countries concerned by the geographic regions of Patagonia and Tata.
There is no obvious response to the question of whether or not a company whose brand is identical to a geographic term should have the right to apply for a new gTLD .brand. For this reason, it will be interesting to follow the developments of the Amazon case. As indicated in our article of June 22, various options in respect of this matter are currently being discussed in anticipation of a second round of new gTLD applications.
The IP TWINS team is available to advise on new gTLD matters, notably regarding .brand projects. Do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.