The CEO of London & Partners, London’s official promotional agency (and the parent company of Dot London Domains Ltd, the applicant of .london gTLD), Gordon Innes, wrote a letter to ICANN expressing some concerns about 2 issues which will have impact on the .london launch.
The first issue is name collisions. If it goes ahead as planned, .london domains are set to go on sale with over 3000 terms blocked, hence bringing overarching consequences to the ability to sell and promote .london.
The list includes names that London entities are highly likely to register containing for example:
burberry, business, fashion, hotels, mayor, police, selfridges, soho, thames, theatre, thetimes, transport, westminster
Gordon Innes urges ICANN to allow some of the most popular search terms but that is not going to happen. I am not sure that Gordon Innes understand why the issue of name collisions is about.
The second issue is that the efforts to protect Intellectual Property rights in the New gTLDs have the unintended consequence the difficulty of gaining approval for the Pioneer program within ICANN’s framework. Earlier drafts of the Registry Agreement allowed for a Registry to use 100 names for the promotion of the TLD, but this was later changed by Rights Protection Mechanism requirements (RPMs). .London has been working for several months on a Pioneer program to showcase .london at launch. There seems to be a delay at ICANN in approving the RPM request for .london.
Finally, .london makes a suggestion so that both .london and ICANN can together showcase the new gTLD program. The domain name icann50.london has been reserved for ICANN so that it can be used to host the website for ICANN’s 50th meeting in June 2014 that is held in London.
Meanwhile .london partner Top Level Domain Holdings (LON:TLDH) saw it’s shares rise 11% to 16.1p on Monday at the London Stock Exchange as it gears up for the formal launch of the .london domain.