Realtors lose bid to throw out rival application for ‘.MLS’ domain | Waccabuc Real Estate

An arbitration panel has rejected a plea from the Canadian Real Estate Association to throw out a competing application for a .MLS top-level domain on the grounds that “MLS” is a generic term in English-speaking countries.

Last year, CREA — the National Association of Realtors’ counterpart in Canada — applied to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to create and manage a new .MLS top-level domain. CREA’s application has the backing of the MLS Domains Association, a nonprofit group of 55 U.S. multiple listings services representing more than 600,000 agents and brokers.

In early 2011, ICANN, which manages the Internet’s domain name system, launched a process to allow the creation of potentially hundreds of new top-level domains. Examples of top-level domains common today include “.com” and “.org.”

If ICANN approves a “.MLS” top-level domain, CREA and the MLS Domains Association want CREA to be in charge of managing it. Consumers, the groups say, should have a way of distinguishing between websites operated by industry professionals from those maintained by third parties.

Although the MLS Domains Association had originally planned to file an application with ICANN to create and manage the .MLS top-level domain, CREA is taking the lead because CREA’s ownership of the trademarks for “Multiple Listing Service” and “MLS” in Canada were thought to make the trade group a stronger applicant. NAR has applied to ICANN to create and manage several new top-level domains including “.Realtor,” a term it has trademarked.

If granted authority to manage the “.MLS” top-level domain, “only members of CREA and its foreign affiliates will be permitted to register .MLS websites,” CREA said in its ICANN application.

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Realtors lose bid to throw out rival application for ‘.MLS’ domain | Inman News.

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