NGOs and communities can apply for reduced fees for TLD even if the string represents a trademark.
ICANN has relaxed a restriction on trademark top level domain names qualifying for its applicant support program for needy applicants. An updated guidebook for the program was released today.
In the first public iteration of the plan, TLDs that were trademarks for organizations would not be eligible for a reduced application rate of $42,000. The latest version of the program has a caveat:
However, applications for names of communities or non-governmental agencies are not necessarily disqualified from receiving support if they have obtained legal trademark protection.
The program still has a number of flaws that I outlined previously.
And again, if you can’t afford the $185,000 application fee I still maintain you probably can’t afford to run a registry.