Weak cases leading to failed Legal Rights Objections.
With objectors losing the first 25 decided Legal Rights Objections (LRO) to new top level domains, there are murmurs about whether or not LRO is working.
The short answer: yes.
The LRO was created to assuage fears that someone would cybersquat on a top level domain. Groups like Association for National Advertisers scared their constituents into thinking someone might apply for their well known brand.
For example, despite the $185,000 application fee, somebody other than Google would apply for .google to try to take advantage of the search giant.
That didn’t happen. Yet 69 objections were filed.
A quick look at the list explains why. Objections were filed against .VIP, .mail, and .home. Now, you tell me: when you hear these terms, what brand do you think is being cybersquatted?
Many of the objections were filed by competing applicants that engaged in trademark frontrunning by obtaining dubious trademarks for the string. Others, such as the United States Postal Service’s objection to .mail, were based on stretched interpretations of a trademark (and that’s being generous).
We’ll see a lot more of this with community objections, where people claiming to represent the gold community, the ski community, and the hotels community filed objections.
You can see a full list of the 263 filed objections here.