DotConnectAfrica Trust (DCA) has lost its second motion seeking to stop the delegation of the .africa (dotAfrica) gTLD after the application was denied by a California Superior Court on February 3 this year.
In a statement issued this week, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced that the California Superior Court has “denied DotConnectAfrica’s (DCA’s) second Motion for Preliminary Injunction to stop the delegation of the .AFRICA generic top-level domain (gTLD) to ZA Central Registry (ZACR)”.
This marks the second time a court has ruled on a similar manner on the issue as DCA’s first Motion for Preliminary Injunction was denied by the Superior Court in December 2016.
According to ICANN, the judge, among other things, found that it appears the “Covenant Not to Sue” found in the New gTLDApplicant Guidebook is enforceable, citing to the recent Federal District Court Order in the Ruby Glen, LLC v ICANN matter, wherein the Court held that the “covenant not to sue” in the Guidebook is enforceable.
The Superior Court Judge ruled that “DCA’s claims against ICANN for fraud and unfair business practices are likely to be barred. As a result, DCA cannot establish that it is likely to succeed on the merits.”
The Court Order – which is available here – delivered by Justice Howard L. Halm reads in part: “DCA’s claims against ICANN for fraud and unfair business practices are likely to be barred. As a result, DCA cannot establish that is likely to proceed on the merits.”
“For the foregoing reasons, the court finds that DCA has not met its burden of showing the elements necessary to support issuance of preliminary injunction. DCA’s motion for a preliminary injunction is denied,” states Justice Halm.
With the current ruling, it appears all the hurdles that were previously keeping ICANN from delegating the .africa to ZACR have been done away with as can be discerned from the statement where it states thus: “In accordance with the terms of its Registry Agreement with ZACR for .AFRICA, ICANN will now follow its normal processes towards delegation.”