Expert Panel Finds Ralph Lauren is Not Entitled to Operate .POLO gTLD Based on Community Objection
While there are currently only about two dozen generic top-level domains (gTLDs), such as .com, .net, and .info, numerous public and private organizations recently filed applications for over 1800 new gTLDs. When clothing company Ralph Lauren Corporation applied for the exclusive right to operate the .POLO gTLD, a battle ensued with the U.S. Polo Association, Inc. (USPA), the national governing body for the sport of polo in America and Canada. This month, an expert panel at the International Center for Expertise of the International Chamber of Commerce upheld USPA’s so-called “Community Objection” against the .POLO application and denied Ralph Lauren’s application. See U.S. Polo Association Inc. v. Ralph Lauren Corp., ICE, No. EXP/452/ICANN/69, 10/10/13. Pursuant to the policies set forth in the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Applicant Guidebook, the panel’s findings are to be considered an expert determination, which ICANN will accept.