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i-DNS.net Files Legal Rights Objections Against IDN gTLD Applications Filed by Chinese Internet Authorities

General, General Release, 25 March 2013

i-DNS.net International Pte. Ltd. Has filed Legal Rights Objections against gTLD applications for <..gongsi. > (the equivalent of .business organization.. in Chinese characters) and <".wuyii". > the equivalent of .Public Interest. in Chinese characters). The application to operate the .gongsi gTLD was filed by the Chinese Network Information Center (.CNNIC.) and the application to operate the .wuyii gTLD was filed by the China Organizational Name Administration Center (.CONAC.). Both applicants are Chinese governmental entities responsible for coordination of domain names in China.

.[t]he applied-for gTLD string infringes the existing legal rights of the objector.. The basis of i-DNS.net.s objections are that the technology that CNNIC and CONAC would use to operate these Internationalized Domain Names (.IDN.) gTLDS is owned by i-DNS.net . CNNIC and CONAC have been using this technology to offer fully IDN .gonsi and .wuyii domain names in China for many years beyond the scope of permission provided by various agreements between the companies and without compensation to i-DNS.net as required by the agreements. As a result, allowing CNNIC and CONAC to operate the .gonsi and .wuyii gTLDs would result in the violation of idns.net.s contractual and Chinese patent rights as set forth in i-DNS.net.s objections.

i-DNS.net.s Objections are currently under administrative review by WIPO (which administers Legal Rights Objections for new gTLDs) because the Objections were not based on trademark grounds. i-DNS.net has pointed out to WIPO that while the Objections Procedure and Applicant Guidebook make numerous references to trademark and similar rights, neither explicitly specify that a legal Rights Objection must be based on a trademark. Rather, Procedure, art. 2(e), 8(a)(iii)(aa) states that a Legal Rights Objection .refers to the objection that the string comprising the potential new gTLD infringes the existing legal rights of others that are recognized or enforceable under generally accepted and internationally recognized principles of law.. Similarly, Section 3.2.1 of the Applicant Guidebook states that a Legal Rights Objection may be filed when .[t]he applied-for gTLD string infringes the existing legal rights of the objector.. Accordingly, as both contract rights and patent rights are generally accepted and enforceable under internationally recognized principles of law, a Legal Rights Objection panel must take into account both contract rights and patent rights and find for the Objector if the Objector demonstrates that operation of the applied-for TLD will infringe those rights.

When asked what i-DNS.net will do if WIPO finds that its Objections lack standing, CEO, S. Subbiah responded .We were hoping to work through the ICANN process, but if our objections are dismissed for lack of standing, it will mean that there is not a mechanism in place in the new gTLD application process to protect those whose rights (other than trademark rights) will be infringed by the operation of a particular gTLD string. I-DNS.net is committed to vigorously protecting its intellectual property and contractual rights and if that happens, we will have no choice but to enforce our rights through other options, which may include the courts..

i-DNS.net International Pte. Ltd., is a Singapore company that pioneered Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) in 1999, based on licensed technology invented at the National University of Singapore in 1997/1998 including Chinese-character domain names and email addresses. Over the past 15 years it has variously licensed its underlying IDN technology and software to most of the big IDN registry launches to date, from Verisign's ICANN-sanctioned hybrid IDN.com launch in 2000 to the full IDN.IDN, non-ICANN approved launches of two different Chinese Internet authorities CNNIC and CONAC.


i-DNS.net International Pte. Ltd.
S. Subbiah, +1 650-855-4605

-- i-DNS.net shall not be held liable for the views and opinions of the authors expressed herein.
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