Public Comment

Public Comment is a vital part of our multistakeholder model. It provides a mechanism for stakeholders to have their opinions and recommendations formally and publicly documented. It is an opportunity for the ICANN community to effect change and improve policies and operations.

Name: Intellectual Property Constituency
Date:19 Mar 2024
Affiliation: Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC)
Other Comments

The IPC appreciates the opportunity to comment on the first final draft sections of the Next Round AGB. We note this significant milestone in the New gTLD Program, and appreciate ICANN Org’s efforts to keep to the current schedule for the Program, with anticipated launch of the application window in early 2026.

 


1. Is the proposed Next Round Applicant Guidebook language for Predictability Framework consistent with the relevant SubPro Final Report recommendations for Topic 2: Predictability Framework?
No

If no, please explain.

The IPC requests that the AGB draft language be revised to make it clear what the role of the SPIRT is in relationship to formulating solutions to problems, namely, “The SPIRT can only formulate solutions in conjunction with the GNSO Council.” It is not intended to be a decision-maker on its own. The draft language states that the SPIRT is expected to develop a “permanent solution” in some instances. In fact, the SPIRT is intended to operate as a “sorting mechanism” to assist in determining where an issue should be resolved and is, in all cases, under the supervision of the GNSO Council.

2. Is the proposed Next Round Applicant Guidebook language for Code of Conduct and Conflict of Interest Guidelines consistent with the SubPro Final Report recommendations for Topic 8: Conflicts of Interest?
Yes
3. Is the proposed Next Round Applicant Guidebook language for Conflicts of Interest Process for Vendors and Subcontractors consistent with relevant SubPro Final Report recommendations for Topic 8: Conflicts of Interest?
Yes
4. Is the proposed Next Round Applicant Guidebook language for Applicant Freedom of Expression consistent with the relevant SubPro Final Report recommendations for Topic 10: Applicant Freedom of Expression?
Yes
5. Is the proposed Next Round Applicant Guidebook language for Universal Acceptance consistent with the relevant SubPro Final Report recommendations for Topic 11: Universal Acceptance?
Yes
6. Is the proposed Next Round Applicant Guidebook language for Reserved and Blocked Names consistent with the relevant SubPro Final Report recommendations for Topic 21: Reserved Names?
Yes
7. Is the proposed Next Round Applicant Guidebook language for Geographic Names consistent with relevant SubPro Final Report recommendations for Topic 21: Reserved Names and Work Track 5 Final Report to the New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Policy Development Process Working Group?
No

If no, please explain.

The draft AGB section states: “If there is more than one application for a string representing a certain Geographic Name as described in this section, and the applications have requisite government approvals, the applications will be suspended pending resolution by the applicants. If the applicants have not reached a resolution by either the date of the end of the application round (as announced by ICANN), or the date on which ICANN opens a subsequent application round, whichever comes first, the applications will be rejected and applicable refunds will be available to applicants according to the conditions described in section 1.5.” The IPC requests clarification on how applicants can resolve such conflicts between themselves in the event that ICANN bans private auctions.

Summary of Submission

IPC strongly recommends 2 clarifications in the guidebook. The first is clarification of the authority of the SPIRT by inserting the phrase, “The SPIRT can only formulate solutions in conjunction with the GNSO Council.” The draft language states that the SPIRT is expected to develop a “permanent solution” in some instances. I n fact, the SPIRT is intended to operate as a “sorting mechanism” to assist in determining where an issue should be resolved and is, in all cases, under the supervision of the GNSO Council. The second is to provide clarification on how applicants applying for certain geographic strings can resolve conflicts between themselves in the event that ICANN bans private auctions.