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ICANN halts applications for .CORP, .HOME and .MAIL

On 4 February 2018, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) passed a Resolution to halt the new generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) applications for .CORP, .HOME and .MAIL.  As a result, and in the interest of fairness, ICANN has agreed to refund the full application fees for each TLD (USD 185,000) to the multiple applicants for each TLD.

ICANN’s position on this matter has essentially not changed since 2013 when it initially decided to defer the delegation of the applications for .CORP, .HOME and .MAIL because of potential risks in terms of name collision and the corresponding risk to the stability and the integrity of the Domain Name System.

This stems from a 2013 study that was carried out on this issue with potentially broad implications, both for new gTLD applicants but also for corporations with a local name space such as a company’s internal corporate network.  The study highlighted high risks of collision for the strings .CORP, .HOME and .MAIL.

In practical terms, the issue of name collision is, for instance, that the result of a lookup of myhost.corp (intended to be within the private network) may change if the TLD .CORP is delegated into the Internet root zone.  This TLD is often used on corporate networks, so it is not clear what could happen to applications on such networks when a lookup of myhost.corp is done but it could possibly fail.  This would depend on the DNS configurations of the respective private networks.

In its meeting of 4 February 2018 ICANN basically reached the conclusion that the concerns identified in terms of name collision remained and that it would thus defer the delegation of the applications indefinitely for the three TLDs by multiple applicants (20 in total) and refund their application fees in full.

ICANN stated that a secure, stable, and resilient internet was its number one priority and that it had:

“made a commitment to the internet community to mitigate and manage name collision occurrence”.

Finally, on the issue of whether the same applicants would be given priority in subsequent rounds on the respective TLDs (.CORP, .HOME and .MAIL), ICANN determined that it would not grant such priority.

First published on Anchovy News: Anchovy® is our comprehensive and centralised online brand protection service for global domain name strategy, including new gTLDs together with portfolio management and global enforcement using a unique and exclusive online platform developed in-house. For more information please contact us at  anchovynews@hoganlovells.com