Court Grants Ex Parte TRO preventing issuance of .Africa top-level domain

On Friday, March 4, the Honorable R. Gary Klausner ruled in favor of BNS’ client, granting a temporary restraining order, enjoining Internet Corporation for the Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) from issuing the .Africa top-level domain.

Plaintiff Dot Connect Africa Trust (DCA) applied ex parte for a temporary restraining order on Wednesday March 2, believing that ICANN would be issuing the .Africa domain at its triannual meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco on March 5.  DCA brought suit in state court just weeks before, seeking to enforce ICANN’s internal review process ruling that held ICANN improperly processed DCA’s application, among other claims.  After ICANN removed to federal court, DCA amended its complaint and moved for a preliminary injunction.  Because the meeting would occur only days after, DCA followed the preliminary injunction with an ex parteapplication for a temporary restraining order.

Ruling in DCA’s favor, Judge Klausner found serious questions going to the merits of DCA’s case.  Coupled with the facts that .Africa can be issued only once and cannot be compensated for monetarily, the Court granted the temporary restraining order, enjoining ICANN from issuing .Africa until DCA’s preliminary injunction is heard.

DCA’s motion is set to be heard April 4, 2016