Citibank: New gTLD .Citi Is Not Confusing to Applications For .City or .CITIC

Citibank today filed two comments with ICANN stating that theie application for .Citi should not be found to be confusing similar to either the 3 applications for .City (although the are pronounced exactly the same) or for the brand application for .CITIC filed by .CITIC Group Corporation.

Citibank filed the comment pro-actively as I don’t see any objections to .Citi filed by anyone else based off of confusion.

On the applications for .City, Brian J. Winterfeldt Counsel on behalf of Citigroup Inc. writes:

“It has come to our attention that three entities have applied for the new gTLD .CITY with the intention of selling domains without restriction beyond the ICANN-mandated rights protection mechanisms as they relate to the generic meaning of city, i.e., a large town or municipal area.”

“On behalf of Citigroup, we respectfully submit the following comments to the Similarity Panel demonstrating that the delegation of both the .CITI and .CITY TLDs is not going to create a probability of user confusion.”

“First, the strings are visually dissimilar. .CITI and .CITY contain different end letters that create a very different overall look between the two strings.”

“ICANN has delegated numerous ccTLDs that share the same first letter and but different ending letters, including those with the ending letters ‘i’ and ‘y’—.BI and .BY, .CI and .CY, and .SI and .SY, without resulting user confusion.”

“The co-existence of these TLDs without user confusion suggest that a one-letter difference is enough for users to distinguish TLDs without confusion, as they will when they see .CITI and .CITY.”

“The meanings of the strings for use as a TLD are also very different.”

“CITI does not have a common generic or descriptive meaning that we are aware of in any language and only signifies the famous CITI global brand. ”

“Internet users will instantly understand that when they see .CITI that it refers only to Citigroup. ”

“When Internet users see .CITY, they will instantly think of the generic term for a large town or municipal area. This further reduces any probability of confusion.”

“Finally, the purpose and eventual use of the TLDs in the marketplace could not be more distinct. ”

“As stated above, the .CITI TLD will be used to promote and provide information under the CITI brand in the most secure manner possible, while the .CITY TLD will be used to sell domain names that relate to the generic meaning of “city” to indicate a large town or municipal area. ”

“The differing usage of the TLDs in the marketplace will further eliminate any confusion between the TLDs, as any Internet user visiting domain names in either will immediately understand the unique nature and purpose of each use.”

“We thereby submit that CITI and CITY are not so similar in an Internet context as to create a probability of user confusion if they are both delegated into the root zone. Thus, the .CITI application should not be placed into a contention set with the .CITY application.”

Regarding .CITIC, Mr. Winterfeldt writes:

The CITIC Group is a Chinese financial services company  was listed in the Fortune Global 500, and is a strong, well-known brand worldwide, writes

“On behalf of Citigroup, we respectfully submit to the Similarity Panel that the delegation of both the .CITI and .CITIC TLDs is not going to create a probability of user confusion.”
The issue is, as we have pointed out, is that ICANN has not giving clear guidance or really much of any guidance to those who have to ultimately have to make the decision on what confusingly similar strings are or are not.
As I said in my previous post its going to be an issue for ICANN down the road.

Comments

  1. says

    And a California court just ruled against ICANN when they tried to claim it “does not engage in trade or commerce”.

    The exact wording –

    “The Court finds the transactions between ICANN and ICM described in the First Amended Complaint are commercial transactions.

    ICANN established the .XXX TLD. ICANN granted ICM the sole authority to operate the .XXX TLD. In return, ICM agreed to pay ICANN money.”

    The court pretty much shut down ICANN’s BS with very simple wording.

    That will open the floodgates for potential lawsuits against ICANN regarding the new gTLD program.

    Brad

  2. .COMmentator says

    Sooooo, Mike…NOW do you agree that the gtld’s are utter foolishness? Startin’ to rethink the ol’ “right of the dot” now, ain’t ya? If not, me think you should be. Caution, numerous icebergs significantly larger than this still lie in the deep waters ahead. Sheer stupidy to even discuss this garbage or for ICANN to consider actually forging ahead. With their newfound $444 Million, though, they need to. That’s an awful lot of money that will surely be lost.

    Let’s say someone registers Bank.citY…how’s that radio ad gonna sound? Hmmm. Probably a lot like, Bank.CitI, no? Consumer confusion? Nah!

    The best is the proposed arabic one, .KOM, pronouned C-O-M. Radio commercials for that puppy won’t be confusing at all now, will they?

    Don’t even get me started on the Siri test.

    All new gtlds = .fail

    The above article merely gives one small reason out of many that are sure to arise. A fool and his money are soon parted. Here is an opportunity in which we all get to watch that transpire right before our very eyes.

  3. PacMan Lover says

    “First, the strings are visually dissimilar. .CITI and .CITY contain different end letters that create a very different overall look between the two strings.”

    A Citibank attorney ACTUALLY wrote that?!?!?!

    Laughing histerically with MUMN!

    (Milk Up My Nose)

    So let’s say Citibank gets it wish and actually convinces the geniuses at ICANN that there will be NO consumer confusion. Is it actually true? Of course there will be.

    If ICANN wisely decides that CITY and CITI are a wee bit too close for comfort, gulp, now what? Does Citibank get denied? Hope not, it’s their national trademark. Does .CITY get denied? Hope not, that’s as generic as it gets.

    …and there are THREE applicants for the .CITY gtld? (Uh-oh…here comes more milk!!!)

    @ .COMmentator: I agree that all roads lead to .fail.

    Am I missing something that any of you out there see? Would love to hear someone defend this worsening State of Confusion.

  4. Grim says

    I’m not sure I entirely understand the importance of having a .CITI extension, anyway. People may “instantly understand that when they see .CITI that it refers only to Citigroup,” (or they may not), but they already instantly recognize Citibank.com.

    Ah well, while it’s a silly game, I’m sure the lawyers don’t mind getting paid to play it.

  5. says

    There never was a need for more new tld’s and there still isn’t. The supposed rationale for them was market “innovation”. The real reason was simply money for ICANN. Market confusion was always going to be a major problem and an inconvenient truth. And tons of defensive registrations that are a core element of the new tld business model.

  6. Michael H. Berkens says

    .Com

    “”ooooo, Mike…NOW do you agree that the gtld’s are utter foolishness? Startin’ to rethink the ol’ “right of the dot” now, ain’t ya?””

    No

    I think and have said here, its going to be a long and messy process.

    I also predicted in my previous post I cited to above, that this issue of confusing similarly was not handled well by ICANN and will be a problem.

    This is just an example of that.

  7. Michael H. Berkens says

    Pacman

    Again I already noted this problem in my previous post where I chatted about .inc and .ink and lack of guidance from ICANN on this issue.

    Going to be a problem for some strings and ICANN

  8. Wizard of Waverly Place says

    The basis of this entire gtld scheme is flawed. ICANN is planning luxury highrises built on foundations of quicksand. Buy a condo unit and watch it turn worthless.

    All of the new gtl’s will sink. Quietly, though, cuz no one will notice or even care. (Does anyone know if .mobi, .museum, .aero, .jobs, .info, .biz, .tel, .pro, name, .cat, .asia, .xxx or .coop still exists? Anyone care? How about the cctld of .us or eu? Yeah, thought so. Same thing going to happen in gtld land except a lot more investment money will be lost.) Only .com will survive the gld fiasco and will increase in value as a result.

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