Update on ICANN’s New gTLD Program

by Robert Kriner on December 18, 2012

As 2012 comes to a close, we’re already gearing up for 2013, the year of the new gTLD. Here’s a quick look at some of the updates surrounding the new gTLD program..

Application Prioritization Draw

ICANN held its application prioritization draw yesterday in Los Angeles. New gTLD applicants were required to purchase a $100 ticket to take part in the lottery-type drawing, where numbers associated with each participant’s gTLD application were randomly selected. The order that these numbers were drawn will be used to coordinate the release of initial evaluation results. Once this list is formulated, brand owners will begin to get a clearer picture of the timing of when the gTLDs that may have a positive or negative effect on their businesses will be released. The results are scheduled to be posted to ICANN’s website within 24 hours of the draw’s completion.

The Trademark Clearinghouse

The period for submission of public comments on the Strawman Model has been extended to January 16, 2013. This model, which was created after changes to the original Trademark Clearinghouse model were submitted jointly by the Business Constituency and Intellectual Property Constituency, call for the changes detailed below. More information on the Strawman Model can be found here.

Clearinghouse Issue Original Plan Strawman Proposal
Sunrise Periods 30 days 30-day Sunrise, plus 30-day advance notice
Trademark Claims 60 days 90 days, plus an additional extended time option (6-12 months)
Scope of Claims Identical TMs only Identical TMs, plus up to 50 abused TM variations

In other clearinghouse news, ICANN has signed an agreement with Deloitte Enterprise Risk Services to be the first provider of validation services. This agreement is non-exclusive, meaning ICANN may add additional validators in the future. This agreement also caps the fee to submit trademarks to the clearinghouse at $150. ICANN also continues negotiations with IBM for the provision of the clearinghouse database.

Uniform Rapid Suspension

ICANN has received a number of submissions from potential URS providers in response to a request for information. According to a blog post written by ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé, a number of the submissions fall into the $300-$500 price range for the service that is outlined as a requirement in the applicant guidebook. ICANN expects to release further information on the submissions later this month.

What impact do you think the eventual launch of the first new gTLDs will have?

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