New gTLD Program Update

Over the past four-plus years, MarkMonitor has been closely following and actively participating in the development of ICANN’s New gTLD Program. We have advocated passionately for the addition of improved Rights Protection Mechanisms and we are dedicated to providing accurate and unbiased information about the program to all our clients.

Below we have highlighted recent program updates from the last month, and we invite you to contact any one of our New gTLD Experts to schedule a call to discuss your questions or concerns about ICANN’s New gTLD Program. Rest assured that as these new registries launch starting next year, we are 100% committed to keeping  you fully informed of timing, eligibility requirements and pricing.

Evaluation Progress

Over the last several months, the New gTLD Evaluation Panels have made significant progress. The String Similarity Evaluation, the DNS Stability Review and the Initial Background Screening for all applications has been completed. The Geographical Names Review is close to completion and the Registry Services, Financial and Technical Evaluations are well underway.

Application Statistics

Of the 1,930 applications, there have been 13 withdrawals (7 completed; 6 in process). The strings successfully withdrawn to date are:

  • .AND
  • .ARE
  • .EST
  • .CHATR
  • .GLEAN
  • .KSB

Formal Objections

There have not been any Formal Objections filed to date.

GAC Early Warnings

On November 20, the GAC (Governmental Advisory Committee) issued 242 Early Warnings. According to the notifications sent, The GAC Early Warning is a notice only.  It is not a formal objection nor does it directly lead to a process that can result in rejection of the application. However a GAC Early Warning should be taken seriously as it raises the likelihood that the application could be the subject of GAC Advice on New gTLDs or of a formal objection at a later stage in the process.”

Prioritization Draw

To enable the program to move forward at a controlled pace a Prioritization Draw is scheduled for December 17 in LA. Each application will be assigned a randomly-drawn priority number. These priority numbers will be used to determine the order in which initial evaluation results are released. Only those Applicants who purchase a ticket will be able to participate in the Draw.

Trademark Clearinghouse

While some of the implementation details are still being finalized the Trademark Clearinghouse is expected to begin accepting submissions in Q1 of 2013. MarkMonitor will be providing Trademark Clearinghouse submission services.

2012 Program Timeline:
December 12-17: Drawing tickets available for sale at the Hilton LAX (9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. PST Dec. 12-16; 8:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. PST Dec. 17)
December 17: Single day Drawing event held at Hilton LAX beginning at 1:00 p.m. PST
December: URS (Uniform Rapid Suspension) providers selected by ICANN
2013 Program Timeline:
January: Registry Services panel evaluation complete (part of Initial Evaluation)
January: All other Clarifying Questions (CQs) released through TAS
February-March: Applicant Background Screening panel evaluation complete (part of Initial Evaluation)
March 13: Objection filing period closes
March 23: First Initial Evaluations results posted in priority order
March-August: Initial Evaluations released in order of draw number (~30/week to start building up to 100+/week)
April: GAC communicates considerations on GAC advice
April 11th: Beijing ICANN meeting ends; at minimum ICANN-Registry Operator contracts will not be fully executed until after this date
May: EBERO (Emergency Back-End Registry Operator) service go-live date for selected service providers
Second Quarter: Delegation possible for earliest TLDs that complete Initial Evaluation Pre-Delegation Testing and Execute Agreements