Geographic Names gTLD Definition
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2.2.1.4.1

Treatment of Country or Territory Names 6

Applications for strings that are country or territory names will not be approved, as they are not available under the
New gTLD Program in this application round. A string shall be considered to be a country or territory name if:
i. it is an alpha-3 code listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard.
ii. it is a long-form name listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard, or a translation of the long-form name in any language.
iii. it is a short-form name listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard, or a translation of the short-form name in any language.
iv. it is the short- or long-form name association with a code that has been designated as “exceptionally reserved” by the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency.
v. it is a separable component of a country name designated on the “Separable Country Names List,” or is a translation of a name appearing on the list, in any language. See the Annex at the end of this module.
vi. it is a permutation or transposition of any of the names included in items (i) through (v). Permutations include removal of spaces, insertion of punctuation, and addition or removal of grammatical articles like “the.” A transposition is considered a change in the sequence of the long or short–form name, for example, “RepublicCzech” or “IslandsCayman.”
vii. it is a name by which a country is commonly known, as demonstrated by evidence that the country is recognized by that name by an intergovernmental or treaty organization.
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6 Country and territory names are excluded from the process based on advice from the Governmental Advisory Committee in recent communiqués providing interpretation of Principle 2.2 of the GAC Principles regarding New gTLDs to indicate that strings which are a meaningful representation or abbreviation of a country or territory name should be handled through the forthcoming ccPDP, and other geographic strings could be allowed in the gTLD space if in agreement with the relevant government or public authority.
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2.2.1.4.2

Geographic Names Requiring Government Support

The following types of applied-for strings are considered geographic names and must be accompanied by documentation of support or non-objection from the relevant governments or public authorities:

1. An application for any string that is a representation, in any language, of the capital city name of any country or territory listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard.

2. An application for a city name, where the applicant declares that it intends to use the gTLD for purposes associated with the city name.

City names present challenges because city names may also be generic terms or brand names, and in many cases city names are not unique. Unlike other types of geographic names, there are no established lists that can be used as objective references in the evaluation process. Thus, city names are not universally protected. However, the process does provide a means for cities and applicants to work together where desired.

An application for a city name will be subject to the geographic names requirements (i.e., will require documentation of support or non-objection from the relevant governments or public authorities) if:

(a) It is clear from applicant statements within the application that the applicant will use the TLD primarily for purposes associated with the city name; and

(b) The applied-for string is a city name as listed on official city documents.7

3. An application for any string that is an exact match of a sub-national place name, such as a county, province, or state, listed in the ISO 3166-2 standard.

4. An application for a string listed as a UNESCO region8 or appearing on the “Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings” list.9

In the case of an application for a string appearing on either of the lists above, documentation of support will be required from at least 60% of the respective national governments in the region, and there may be no more than one written statement of objection to the application from relevant governments in the region and/or public authorities associated with the continent or the region.

Where the 60% rule is applied, and there are common regions on both lists, the regional composition contained in the “Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings” takes precedence.

An applied-for gTLD string that falls into any of 1 through 4 listed above is considered to represent a geographic name. In the event of any doubt, it is in the applicant’s interest to consult with relevant governments and public authorities and enlist their support or non-objection prior to submission of the application, in order to preclude possible objections and pre-address any ambiguities concerning the string and applicable requirements.

Strings that include but do not match a geographic name (as defined in this section) will not be considered geographic names as defined by section 2.2.1.4.2, and therefore will not require documentation of government support in the evaluation process.
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7 City governments with concerns about strings that are duplicates, nicknames or close renderings of a city name should not rely on the evaluation process as the primary means of protecting their interests in a string. Rather, a government may elect to file a formal objection to an application that is opposed by the relevant community, or may submit its own application for the string.
8 See http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/worldwide/[unesco.org].
9 See http://unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/m49/m49regin.htm[unstats.un.org].
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