.mls

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Status: Proposed
Target Region: USA, International
Type: Generic
Category: Real Estate
Priority #: 680 - Afilias
1155 - The Canadian Real Estate Association
1166 - The Canadian Real Estate Association

.mls is a proposed gTLD in ICANN's new gTLD program. The acronym "mls" stands for Multiple List Service, which is a suite of databases and software that are used by real estate agents and brokers to list, compare, and sell homes.[1]

Applicants

  1. Afilias
  2. The Canadian Real Estate Association - (community application) The Association has filed one community application, and one general application as a back-up.
  3. The Canadian Real Estate Association - (non-community application)

Community Application

There are 3 applications, but only 2 applicants, as the Canadian Real Estate Association applied as a community priority applicant and as a standard gTLD applicant. This is a means of ensuring that the Canadian Real Estate Association is still in a place to be delegated the TLD, even if it is not accepted as a community TLD.

While .mls has been applied for by the Canadian Association, it has already reached a deal to allow partners in America, the MLS Domains Association, to verify and sell its domains in the USA.[2] Their registration policies state: "Only members of CREA and its Foreign Affiliates will be permitted to register .MLS websites. The .MLS TLD will initially be made available to CREA’s Board members and Foreign Affiliate members. After undertaking any required assessments, CREA may enter into a second phase where the TLD would be made available to broker and salespeople members of CREA. Boards using the .MLS TLD will be required to use their corporate name, or an acronym of their corporate name, as the second level domain. Foreign Affiliate members will be required to include geographical modifiers in their second level domains on the .MLS TLD or clearly indicate the geographical area served by their system on any site page. For example, the Durham MLS would not be able to simply register Durham.mls, as this domain could be confusing with Durham, Ontario. The Durham MLS would be required to include a geographical modifier, like DurhamNorthCarolina.mls, or they would have to display something like a map of North Carolina on their home page."[3]

CPE Result

In March 2014 a Community Priority Evaluation (CPE) panel decided that the applicant would not prevail as a community applicant, giving them a 11 out of 16 possible points (14 are needed to pass). Thus the applicant will now have to resolve the contention set through other means such as a Private or ICANN auction.[4]

Objection

An official Legal Rights Objection was filed by the applicant The Canadian Real Estate Association against fellow applicant Afilias.[5]

A Legal Rights Objection, as defined by the ICANN approved mediator, WIPO, is when, "third parties may file a formal objection to an application on several grounds, including, for trademark owners and Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs) [..] When such an objection is filed, an independent panel (comprised of one or three experts) will determine whether the applicant’s potential use of the applied-for gTLD would be likely to infringe [..] the objector’s existing trademark, or IGO name or acronym."[6]

Background

A previously public applicant, the MLS Domains Association, which intended to apply as a Community gTLD, did not file an application under that name.[7]

References

  1. Multiple Listing Service, en.Wikipedia.org
  2. Canadian Real Estate Association, Inman.com
  3. gTLD Application 1-1888-47714
  4. CPE Status ICANN.org; Retrieved 13 June 2014
  5. LRO Cases, WIPO.int
  6. LRO, WIPO.int Retrieved 25 March 2013
  7. Dot MLS Rights Fight, News.dot-nxt.com