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Nations Battle Companies Over Domain Names

April 26, 2013

Applications from companies wanting control of .PATAGONIA and .AMAZON have been challenged by some governments.

Outdoor clothing company Patagonia, Inc. has applied for the .PATAGONIA domain extension, but Argentina and Chile have objected. According to The Atlantic, Patagonia is a sub-region within Argentina and Chile made up of five provinces. 

ICANN's guidelines for new generic Top Level Domains apparently state that an extension would be considered a geographic domain - and therefore ineligible - if it were a city, state, county, province, UNESCO region name or country name.

However, it appears Patagonia falls into none of those classifications.

It may be a different story with regard to .AMAZON though. Fox News reports Brazil and Peru have objected to online retailer Amazon being granted the name; arguing that it could be better used to promote environmental protection and other public interests; rather than a brand.

Yet another geographic based objection relates to .SHANGRILA. China has objected to a hotel chain using that extension; stating "Shangri-la" is a region in Yunnan province. 

However, The Guardian points out the region was renamed to Shangri-la in 2001; well after the establishing of the hotel's brand. The term Shangri-la  actually originates from a 1933 novel called Lost Horizon; written by James Hilton.

Geographic domain names aren't the only extensions being objected to by governments. Our own government has registered objections to 8 extensions; including .FAIL, .GRIPE and .SUCKS. 

There are plenty of other objections being lodged as well. According to DomainIncite, as at March 27, there were 274 formal objections against new gTLD applications. Most objections have been applicant vs. applicant rather than parties outside of the gTLD race.

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