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Qualified Launch Program for New gTLD Registries Now Available

10 April 2014

The Qualified Launch Program (QLP) Addendum is available for new gTLD registry operators as of today. The QLP Addendum allows a registry operator to register up to 100 domain names to third parties prior to the Sunrise Period for purposes of promoting the TLD, under certain conditions.

View the Qualified Launch Program Addendum now [PDF, 63 KB]

The Qualified Launch Program Addendum is intended to provide a mechanism for Registry Operators to register a limited number of names to third parties to promote their TLDs prior to the Sunrise Period, while maintaining safeguards against intellectual property infringement.

According to the QLP Addendum, if a domain name matches a label in the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH), the domain name may be registered to a Sunrise-Eligible Rights Holder, as defined in the TMCH Requirements. If a domain name does not match a label in the Trademark Clearinghouse, the domain name may be registered in a Qualified Launch Program to any third party.

Names may also be registered to public authorities under the Qualified Launch Program, subject to certain requirements.

After review and analysis of the community's input during the public comment period, the draft Qualified Launch Program Addendum has been amended to:

  • incorporate additional elements into the category of names that can be registered to public authorities.
  • expand the eligibility to issue public authority names (e.g., eliminate the requirement that the TLD must have been found to be a geographic name according to the definition of the Applicant Guidebook).
  • clarify the reporting requirements for QLP names.

According to section 4.5.1 of the RPM Requirements [PDF, 589 KB], if a Qualified Launch Program is developed and approved by ICANN, ICANN will prepare an addendum providing for the implementation of such Qualified Launch Program, which will be automatically incorporated into these TMCH Requirements without any further action of ICANN or any registry operator.

Accordingly, new gTLD Registry Operators are now permitted to have a Qualified Launch Program in accordance with the terms of the approved Qualified Launch Program Addendum, and will not need to seek ICANN's approval to implement a Qualified Launch Program.

A registry operator wishing to take advantage of the Qualified Launch Program may do so after delegation of the TLD and before the end of the Sunrise period. Registry Operators intending to use the Qualified Launch Program should inform ICANN as part of their TLD Startup Information package.