One of the first adopters of the dot-brand gTLD concept, which has an active portfolio of resolving domains, has asked ICANN to tear up its registry contract.
The Australian Cancer Research Foundation said it no longer wishes to operate .cancerresearch, which it has used since 2014.
It’s a bit of a strange, possibly unique, situation, which may explain why its termination request, submitted in April, is only now being published by ICANN.
Technically, .cancerresearch was more like a closed generic than a dot-brand. It did not have a trademark on the string or the Specification 13 exceptions in its registry contract, which would make it a dot-brand.
Instead, ACRF had the TLD delegated, registered a bunch of resolving names to itself, and never officially launched. There was never even a sunrise period.
Pretty significant loophole in the rules for the 2012 application round if you ask me.
But ICANN is treating .cancerresearch as if it was a dot-brand anyway. Because nobody except ACRF ever owned any domains there, there’s no need to transition to a new registry to protect registrants.
This also means nobody else will be able to apply for the same string for two years, assuming an application window opens in that period.
ACRF still has live non-redirecting web sites on domains such as lung.cancerresearch, breast.cancerresearch and donate.cancerresearch.
It’s the first gTLD termination request since last October.