International directories and internet services business Hibu has lodged a legal rights objection against Telstra over its application for the generic top level domain .yellowpages.
Hibu, formerly Yell Group, operates in the UK, US, Spain, Argentina, Chile and Peru, and hails from the original yellow pages division of British Telecom.
A Telstra spokesperson has been asked for comment.
Telstra is one of many Australian companies that are awaiting assessment by international domain name regulator ICANN, which held a lottery in December 2012 to determine the order in which applications for new generic top level domains (gTLDs) would be assessed.
ICANN this week released the results for the first 27 applicants, all of which are for domains in non-Latin script, in languages including Chinese, Arabic and Cyrillic. This follows ICANN’s decision to prioritise applications that help diversify the geographic spread of the internet.
“As a result of ICANN’s process these ones were given preference in the priority draw, but you have to remember there were over 1900 applications filed,” said Lena Carlsson, vice president of domain strategy for CSC Digital Brand Services.
CSC recently acquired the digital brand services division of Melbourne IT, and as a result will be taking over Melbourne IT’s client applications for gTLDs.
Carlsson said the acquisition meant CSC would now be handling a third of the global .brand applications for gTLDs.
Asked whether it might see CSC managing competing applications, she said: “It’s one of those things we have to manage.”
The remaining applicants will find out if their application has received a “pass” from ICANN and is eligible to proceed to the next phase, in a series of weekly releases expected to be finalised by August.
All of the assessments are subject to objections that are segmented into four categories — on the basis of whether they could cause user confusion (string confusion); whether they violate the legal rights of the objector; if there is a public interest objection; or a community objection where a substantial opposition to the application exists from a significant portion of the community that the domain targets.
The window for filing a formal objection to a new gTLD closed on March 13, and ICANN will publish a list of objections that require applicant responses in mid-April.
In the meantime, the World Intellectual Property Organisation has published a list of objections that argue the legal rights case.
The list comes after more than 243 “early warnings” against domain applications were lodged with ICANN, more than half by the Australian Government.
The Government has raised a warning against Amazon.com’s application for .book, and has also questioned applications for other generic domains from Symantec, Tennis Australia, Open Universities Australia and CPA Australia.
More recent formal objections include one against Google by FairSeach.Org, a lobby group that has the support of Microsoft, Oracle and Nokia. The group claims giving Google control of .search, .fly and .map would provide an unfair competitive advantage over other members of the online search community.
At risk by companies that have their application knocked back is the $185,000 application fee, in addition to the hefty consulting fees that come with preparing a detailed application designed to meet ICANN’s stringent requirements.