New gTLD Update (11 December 2012)

You might think that things slow down at the end of the year. Not so with the New gTLD Program. Things are just starting to heat up!

Here is what's happening as we count down to the end of the year.

Prioritization Draw

The Prioritization Draw that will order the release of initial evaluation results of all new gTLD applications is approaching quickly. Tickets go on sale this week beginning Wednesday, 12 December and the event will be held on Monday, 17 December, all happening at the Hilton Hotel Los Angeles Airport.

Here's the order in which the Draw will be conducted:

  1. Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) applications – Tickets purchased
  2. Non-IDN applications – Tickets purchased
  3. IDN applications – No tickets purchased
  4. Non-IDN applications – No tickets purchased

We just ask that you register if you plan to attend in person. We also will stream the event live on the new gTLD microsite.

A few important items to remember:

  1. You must bring the following two items with you in order to purchase a ticket:
    1. a government-issued photo identification containing the name and address (or name and passport number) identical to the information provided in the Designation Form; and
    2. a completed Designation Form, including the Application ID number, the applied-for string, and the unique Prioritization Draw code that ICANN provided for each application.
  2. Acceptable forms of payment include:
    1. Cash
    2. Cashier's check
    3. Certified check
    4. Travelers cheques
    5. Credit cards – Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover

Company checks, personal checks, and any other non-certified checks will not be accepted. All payments must be made in US Dollars and all acceptable checks must be made payable to ICANN Draw.

For full details, refer to the Prioritization Draw landing page on the new gTLD microsite.

Clarifying Questions (CQs)

Clarifying questions for most of the Geographic Names applications were sent out through the CSC Portal on 26 November. CQs for all the remaining panels will go out in January 2013. Responses to geographic names CQs are due back at the end of Initial Evaluation. Responses to all other CQs will be within a four-week window.

To assist you in preparing answers to the coming CQs, we've posted the first two Applicant Advisories to the new gTLD microsite. These advisories are on questions 48 and 50. The advisories are available on the Applicants' Corner page. Check back often as more will be posted soon!

Webinars

We held a webinar on the Prioritization Draw on 5 December 2012. If you missed it, it is available from the Webinar page of the microsite. 

We acknowledge that there should have been better advance notice of this webinar. We apologize and will be sure to provide ample notice as we move forward with more webinars.

In fact, the next Applicant Update webinar will be held in January 2013. Keep an eye on the Webinar page for details.

Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS)

We've received proposals from potential URS providers in response to the posted Request for Information (RFI) for URS. The proposals have been reviewed and all potential providers have been interviewed. We will provide additional updates as soon as possible. Please keep checking the URS page on the microsite for the latest.

Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH)

A Trademark Clearinghouse "Strawman Solution" is posted for public comment. This "Strawman Solution" addresses the concerns of affected stakeholders as they relate to Trademark Claims and Sunrise periods. The two documents published for comment are:

In addition to the public comment period, we are also seeking policy implementation guidance from the GNSO Council in relation to both of these proposals.

For detailed information refer to the public comment page.

Objection Period

The Objection Period has been extended to 13 March 2013. We will be holding a webinar in January on the Objection process. To date there have been no objections filed against any applications.

Applications Comments & Program Feedback

We haven't talked about this in a while so here's a quick reminder. The application comments and program feedback forums are open throughout the duration of the application round. If you have comments on an application or on the program overall, please submit them. Application comments will remain available for all to see and for review by the Dispute Resolution Service Providers and Independent Objector. Any Program Feedback comments will be used to make improvements to the program.

Thanks for reading,

Michele Jourdan
Manager, New gTLD Communications