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Registry Provider: Afilias
Type: Generic
Website: domains.bio
Twitter: TwitterIcon.png@dot_bio

More information: NTLDStatsLogo.png

.bio is a gTLD delegated to the DNS Root Zone in ICANN's New gTLD Program on 2 June 2014.[1] Afilias is the registry operator for the gTLD. It was originally managed by Starting Dot until Afilias acquired the company and its rights to .bio and two other gTLDs (.archi and .ski) in August 2016[2]


As a stand-alone word, “bio” means “life” generally, and as a prefix ‘bio’ precedes dozens of words ranging from biography to bioclimatology, biodegradable, biodynamics, bioengineering, biomedical, biometrics, biosystematics, biotelemetry, etc. However, “bio” means “organic”, as in organic farming, in over 10 languages covering 52 nations. Thus, to respect the European Union's standards for 'bio' /organic food, this open TLD will have regulations in place for registrants intending to use it as a space for organic food products. The rest of the non-organic related TLD will not be regulated.[3][4] [5]


GAC Early Warning

The French GAC representative issued a GAC Early Warning regarding the application. The warning system is noted as a strong recommendation on behalf of national governments to the ICANN Board that a given TLD application should be denied as it stands. Applicants are encouraged to work with objecting GAC members.[6]

The French warning notes the wide range of international standards on agricultural products and organic food, and consequently believes that the TLD can not be implemented unless it is not at all used to denote material related to organic agriculture. It warns of consumer harm or confusion if the TLD were to be implemented.[7]

European Commission Communiqué

The European Commission flagged the application for .bio outside of ICANN's defined remediation processes.

Just after ICANN's GAC issued its Early Warnings, which are advice given from one GAC member country to an applicant warning it of potential issues within its application, the European Commission issued a letter to all applicants within the New gTLD Program. The letter highlights 58 applications that "could raise issues of compatibility with the existing legislation .. and/or with policy positions and objectives of the European Union." It notes a desire to open a dialogue with each offending applicant.

The Commission specifically notes that this objection is not a part of the GAC Early Warning process, and goes on to note that "the Commission does not consider itself legally bound to ICANN processes," given that there is not legal agreement between the two bodies.[8][9]

Community Objection

The Biotechnology Industry Organization filed a community objection against this application.[10] This objection was later withdrawn by the objector.[11]

Legal Rights Objection

The Biotechnology Industry Organization also filed a Legal Rights Objection against this application. WIPO panelist Christopher J. Pibus determined that the applicant prevailed, and the objection was dismissed. The panelist decided that: "the Objector has failed to make out its case under the first criteria of Section 3.5.2 of the Guidebook. The evidence does not establish that the Respondent’s use of the <.bio> string will take unfair advantage of the distinctive character or reputation of the Objector’s BIO trade-marks."[12]

Contract Signed

On 6 March 2014 Starting Dot received a Registry Agreement signed by ICANN for .bio after passing all the required processes needed to become a Registry Operator for the string.[13]