The call for the IDNs EPDP team will take place on Thursday, 31 March 2022 at 13:30 UTC for 90 minutes.

For other places see:


  1. Roll Call & SOI Updates (2 min)
  2. Welcome & Chair Updates (5 min)
  3. Continued discussion of Charter Question B4a (20 min)
  4. Introduction to Charter Question B5 (25 min)
  5. Charter Question A7 – approach to outreach to CJK GPs (25 min)
  6. Charter Question A10 – status/general agreement of Team (10 min)
  7. AOB (3 min)


EPDP Team Meeting #28 Slides - B4a, B5, A7, A10.pdf


Audio Recording

Zoom Recording

Chat Transcript 

GNSO transcripts are located on the GNSO Calendar



Apologies:  none

Notes/ Action Items

Action Items:


Action Item 1: RySG members on the EPDP Team to ask geoTLD colleagues if they have any concerns about the direction that the group is taking on charter question B5.

Action Item 2: Leadership Team to draft response to charter question B5 and recommendation.

Action Item 3: Leadership Team to send proposed approach to outreach to CJK GPs to the EPDP Team for review and response on the mailing list, to be wrapped up next week. The EPDP Team will try to raise and resolve questions on email.

Action Item 4: Leadership Team to send follow-up email regarding proposed outcome for Charter question A10.

Notes – IDNs EPDP Call – 24 March 2022

Welcome & Chair Updates

  • The call currently scheduled for the 14 April will need to be moved of cancelled. It conflicts with a GNSO Council call. Standard practice is to move the call back 24 hours if there is a conflict, but 15 April is Good Friday. Leadership will circle back with the EPDP with a suggestion about how to proceed.
  • The EPDP Team needs to begin thinking about ICANN74. Once it becomes clear what the format and requirements for the meeting will be, the EPDP Team can discuss the plan for the meeting.
  • Shout out to Satish for a panel that he chaired for the APAC DNS Forum. Donna was scheduled for present but was unable to attend due to power outage. Thanks to Pitinan from ICANN org for covering Donna’s presentation.
  • The session on the future of IDN variants had speakers from the policy side of the issue and speakers on the practical aspects of variant management.
  • There was a good response from the audience, especially in the questions raised. There were questions around how to treat variants as equivalent in practice.
  • Recording is available here:

Continued discussion of Charter Question B4a

  • Slide 4 -- Overview of charter question and summary of discussion
  • The discussion left off with possible three scenarios: 1. Existing ROs – allocatable variant labels not being requested for activation; 2. Future applicants – allocatable variant labels not being applied for; 3. Future applicants – grounds for rejection removed for previously “rejected” labels
  • The intent of the charter question is to focus on the first two scenarios. Questions related to the third scenario will come up later in the charter questions.
  • Comment: There is not much of an issue if there is the rule that all strings from the variant set can only be applied for by the same entity. There would only be an issue if different entities could apply.
  • Two questions: The question “what role do they play. . .” alludes to whether the variant labels with status withheld-same-entity are used in any other process for example application evaluation (such as string similarity). The question of legal claims is separate.
  • Regarding the connection between how the variant labels can be used vs. the issue of legal claims -- in the charter drafting, the drafting team was thinking about how in the previous round, the declared variants were used to some extent in the application process for very specific reasons even though the applicant had no legal claims. The question was developed in the context of this experience.
  • It was noted that Topic E has questions about the role of withheld-same-entity labels in objection and string similarity review process, so this question is not about their role in those processes.
  • Comment: What really matters is what the applicant should do, for example should they mention the variants in the application. The WG should consider the question: “What are the reasons that the applicants should need to include variants in the application, for example because they want to activate the variant in the future?” This may be tied to other issues, for example the timing of when an applicant can activate a variant (during vs. outside the round).
  • This question specifically says that the variant label in question has not been requested for activation in the application process. There is a charter question of whether all variant labels in a set should go through string similarity process other than those that have been applied for, but we will get to this in addressing other charter questions. A suggestion was made to put aside this question until Topic E is discussed, and then the group can see if there is anything left that needs to be addressed that is relevant to this question.
  • Agreement: “Park” this question and revisit after addressing charter questions under Topic E.

Introduction to Charter Question B5

  • Slide 7 -- Overview of charter question and context
  • Slide 8 – Examples of Existing gTLDs with “Restrictions”
  • Preliminary recommendation that it would be one application submitted with variant labels and assumption that the gTLD and variant labels will be operated for a single user experience.
  • Comment: Yes, they should be bound by the same restrictions and treated the same way. It is a single application. If a primary string is applied for as a brand, the variants should also be brand TLDs, otherwise it would be a confusing user experience.
  • Comment: It is important to avoid a situation a geo TLD has a variant in another language that is a geo name for a different place. This result should be avoided. For geo TLDs, variants should have lower precedence.
    • Question: Does this intervention imply that for geo TLDs, the variant label should be less important? For example, if an applied for label has a variant that might be a different geo name in another language, is the suggestion that the variant label should not be available for the applicant, even though it would be a variant under the RZ-LGR?
    • Response: Correct. The application requires endorsement from the relevant jurisdiction. If a government can’t access a TLD because it a variant of a non-geo string, this is a serious problem.
    • Comment: This intervention implies that in special cases, the variant relationship should not be applied. This is not possible because the RZ-LGR is paramount and there is no way to have to two variants operated by two different operators, such as in the geo example.
    • This issue is to be resolved outside of this charter questions. B5 specifically asks if an applicant applies for a geo name and there are variants, that those variants also needed to be treated as geo names.
  • There are criteria/constraints that come from the application perspective, and another set that are about the use of the string. These might need to be examined separately. From a use perspective, the same rules might apply – for example if one string is used as a geo TLD, the variant should also be a geo TLD. For the brand case, the brand needs to submit proof that the applied for string is identical to a registered trademark of the RO. If there is a variant that is not visually identical, even if allocatable in the application process, will it be rejected because it will not meet the string criteria? At the use level, the main string and the variant will both be used as a brand, but do the same application criteria apply?
  • From the application perspective, if an application requires endorsement from a particular city in its language, the variant might be in a language that the city does not use. One question is whether the application criteria should be the same as the use criteria.
  • Comment: The one application principle should apply. All variants should be treated the same. There should be one application, with one set of criteria for the set, for example one endorsement for a set. In terms of the string itself, all variants will need to go through public comment, string similarity, and objections processes. If a party felt that an application infringed on their rights, that party would need to object at that time. Decoupling would cause a problem to the concept of variants.
  • If you have a trademark with different capitalization, you would still apply that to a TLD. The same would apply for simplified and traditional Chinese. Under trademark rules, they are considered to be conflicts, although the trademark itself could be applied for in one or the other. The safest route is to keep the one application principle – the endorsement is sought for the primary string, and the variants come as a package along with that.
  • Question: Is it possible that one applicant applies for a geo TLD and two variants together and a second applicant applies for one of those variants as its primary string?
  • Response: If A and B are variants of each other and C is a variant of B it is automatically a variant of A. There is no main label. They are all equally valid and important.
  • Comment: If applicant 1 applies for A and variant B and applicant 2 applies for B as a primary string, there will be a contention set and would need to be addressed through contention resolution.
  •  Comment: There may be edge cases where there is contention for a brand or geo name. There need to be safeguards that can handle edge cases while applying the single application rule.
  • The specific questions related to variants and geo names may already be taken into account in the application and resolution processes, as well as the SubPro work.
  • Suggestion to ask geoTLDs for their opinions about obstacles for the last round.
  • Outcome: Some support expressed for the idea that the requirements that apply for a normal gTLD will also apply for a IDN gTLD and its variants. The same restrictions apply.

Action Item 1: RySG members on the EPDP Team to ask geoTLD colleagues if they have any concerns about the direction that the group is taking on charter question B5.

Action Item 2: Leadership Team to draft response to charter question B5 and recommendation.

  • Question: Are we limiting the scope of this response to the same application that covers a primary label and its variants?
  • Response: Yes.
  • Another example: Do we apply the same application evaluation criteria to all of the variants of a TLD in a special category? Or do the application criteria only apply to the primary string? Example: Straße and Strasse are variants in German. Will the same application criteria and processes apply to both?
  • This will be handled in a later charter questions. B5 is less about the application evaluation process and more about what needs to be included in the application.

 Charter Question A7 – approach to outreach to CJK GPs

  • Slide 10 -- Summary of discussion on part 2 of the question
  • Slide 11 – Proposal for consultation letter to GPs
  • Any initial reactions? Confirming that this is still an approach the group supports?
  • Comment: It is useful to consult with the GPs.
  • Regarding further points for setting expectations on Slide 11: The Chair’s perspective is that we should consider any feedback from the GPs as an input to EPDP Team deliberations. On the question “should the outcomes be encoded in the RZ-LGR, or should they be published as a document for reference,” it may be that we need to see the output before we can decide.

Action Item 3: Leadership Team to send proposed approach to outreach to CJK GPs to the EPDP Team for review and response on the mailing list, to be wrapped up next week. The EPDP Team will try to raise and resolve questions on email.

  • Leadership team is revising A5/A6 language. This will be sent to the list soon. This will only be discussed further if additional concerns are raised.

Charter question A10

  • Slide A10 – Recap of discussion
  • Clarification may be needed regarding highlighted text on slide 14. Otherwise, the suggested path forward is to draft a response to the charter question in support of the recommendations in the staff paper.

Action Item 4: Leadership Team to send follow-up email regarding proposed outcome for Charter question A10.

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