Clause 4 of Section 5.1 of the New gTLD Applicant Guidebook (AGB) provides that eligible new gTLD applicants are expected to have executed the Registry Agreement within nine (9) months of the notification date, and that a "failure to do so may result in loss of eligibility." The nine-month period for execution of the Registry Agreement generally commences on receipt of the initial Contracting Information Request ("CIR") invitation. For applicants who received CIR invitations prior to January 29, 2014, the nine-month period started January 29, 2014 and ends October 29, 2014.
That Section further provides the possibility for an extension to the nine-month deadline if certain criteria are met:
An applicant may request an extension of this time period for up to an additional nine (9) months if it can demonstrate, to ICANN's reasonable satisfaction, that it is working diligently and in good faith toward successfully completing the steps necessary for entry into the registry agreement.
All applicants (including those that wish to qualify as a .Brand TLD) seeking an extension to the nine-month deadline to execute the Registry Agreement must submit an extension request to ICANN prior to the expiration of their deadline as follows:
- All applicants (including those that wish to qualify as a .Brand TLD) with a deadline of 29 October 2014 to execute the Registry Agreement must submit extension requests by 24 September 2014 to be eligible for an extension.
- Applicants with deadline dates to execute the Registry Agreement other than 29 October 2014 must submit extension requests at least 45 days prior to the original deadline date to be eligible for an extension.
If extension requests are not submitted by these extension request deadlines, the applicant will not be granted an extension and will be expected to execute the Registry Agreement by the original deadline.
ICANN will inform applicants whether an extension is granted a minimum of 30 days prior to the original deadline to execute the Registry Agreement. Extensions may be granted for periods of less than nine months, and ICANN may notify applicants of interim milestone deadlines, such as: responding to the Contracting Information Request, submitting a compliant COI and/or submitting proposed changes if the applicant wants to negotiate changes to the base Registry Agreement. These interim deadlines must be met to demonstratethat the applicant is working diligently and in good faith toward successfully completing the steps necessary for entry into the Registry Agreement.
Applicants who have been granted an extension must execute the Registry Agreement by the extended deadline, or risk losing eligibility to execute the Registry Agreement with ICANN. In addition, applicants that fail to meet interim milestone deadlines will be at risk of losing eligibility to execute the Registry Agreement with ICANN. If an applicant loses eligibility to execute the Registry Agreement with ICANN, the status of its application will be changed to "Will Not Proceed."