Two companies appeal to ICANN’s board for reconsideration of new TLD objections.
The first of what are likely many “appeals” of new top level domain name objections have been filed with ICANN’s board in the form of Requests for Reconsideration.
Both Dish DBS and Hotel Top Level Domain S.a.r.l. filed Requests for Reconsideration with the board on Friday. Each request blames the process created by ICANN as well as the decision making by the panelists.
Dish DBS is appealing the legal rights objection brought by its competitor The DirecTV Group Inc. over the .direct domain name. In that case, a three personal panel determined that Dish’s application for the .direct domain was a thinly veiled attempt to take advantage of its competitor’s brand.
Dish argues that the panelists allowed a TV commercial they saw while deliberating to affect their decision. It says this means the panelists were “improperly influenced” by media accounts.
The company also argues that panelists for objections are “only proving a recommendation to ICANN”.
I doubt that last argument is going to fly.
Interestingly, it says that it can still go forward with the “direct” plan it had for the .direct TLD even if its competitor Donuts gets the string — it would just need to register 3,000 second level domain names to do so.
Hotel Top Level Domain S.a.r.l. is an applicant for .hotel and filed a string similarity objection against another applicant’s bid for the plural version .hotels. The panelist ruled against Hotel Top Level Domain, thus allowing both .hotel and .hotels to move forward.
Hotel TLD argues that the panelist was wrongly influenced by ICANN’s decision to not place singulars and plurals like these in contention sets. It argues that the string similarity objection tool was set up as a further way to argue strings are similar and should not be affected by the previous string similarity decision.
The company writes:
…it is evident that the panelist deeply failed to follow the appropriate process in evaluating the merits of the Objection, resulting in a fundamentally flawed decision that should be disregarded by ICANN staff and not accepted as advice.
Hotel TLD also says that ICANN had a material failure of process by failing to “incorporate suitable quality control provisions” into the string confusion objection process.
I suspect that ICANN will have to review a number of string confusion objections given the clear divergence in decisions on seemingly similar cases. A number of cases have findings contradictory to other cases.
A third sort of appeal to a decision was recently filed by Del Monte International, which decided to sue Del Monte Corporation (but not ICANN) after a panel killed its bid for .delmonte.
[Note: the original version of this article mistakenly referred to .dish in two places where it should have been .direct. This has been corrected.]