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Review the glossary of commonly used terms in the Applicant Guidebook.

Glossary [PDF]

Terms Applicable to the gTLD Application Process

A-Label The ASCII form of an IDN label.  All operations defined in the DNS use A-labels exclusively. 
Applicant An entity that has applied to ICANN for a new gTLD by submitting its application form during the application submission period.
Applicant Guidebook The gTLD Applicant Guidebook currently in effect, describing the requirements of the application and evaluation processes.
Application An application for a new gTLD lodged in connection with the terms and conditions of the Applicant Guidebook. An application includes the completed Application Form, any supporting documents, and any other information that may be submitted by the applicant at ICANN’s request.
Application form
The set of questions to which applicants provide responses, included as an attachment to Module 2 of the Applicant Guidebook.
Application round The complete succession of stages for processing the applications received during one application submission period for gTLDs. The terms and conditions of the Applicant Guidebook are for one application round. Any subsequent application rounds will subject to updated guidebook information.
Application submission period The period during which applicants may submit gTLD applications to ICANN.
Applied-for gTLD string A gTLD string that is subject of an application.
American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) A character encoding based on the English alphabet.
Auction A method for allocating property or goods to the highest bidder.
Auction round Within an auction, the period of time commencing with the announcement of a start-of-round price and concluding with the announcement of an end-of-round price.
AXFR  Asynchronous full transfer, a DNS protocol mechanism through which a DNS zone can be replicated to a remote DNS server.
Bidder An applicant who participates in an auction.
Business ID A number such as a federal tax ID number or employer information number.
A class of top-level domain only assignable to represent countries and territories listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard.  See
Community-based gTLD A community-based gTLD is a gTLD that is operated for the benefit of a clearly delineated community. An applicant designating its application as community-based must be prepared to substantiate its status as representative of the community it names in the application.
Community objection An objection made on the grounds that there is substantial opposition to a gTLD application from a significant portion of the community to which the gTLD string may be explicitly or implicitly targeted.
Community Priority evaluation A process to resolve string contention, which may be elected by a community-based applicant.
Consensus policy
A policy created through the GNSO policy development process listed in Annex A of the ICANN Bylaws. See A list of current consensus policies is available at
Contention set A group of applications containing identical or similar applied-for gTLD strings.
Country-code TLD See ccTLD.
Declared Variants List A list maintained by ICANN recording variant TLD strings listed by applicants in gTLD applications.
Delegation The process through which the root zone is edited to include a new TLD, and the management of domain name registrations under such TLD is turned over to the registry operator.
Digit Any digit between “0” and “9” (Unicode code points U+0030 to U+0039).
Dispute Resolution Service Provider (DRSP) An entity engaged by ICANN to adjudicate dispute resolution proceedings in response to formally filed objections.
Domain name A name consisting of two or more (for example, levels, maintained in a registry database.
Domain Name System (DNS) The global hierarchical system of domain names. 
Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) DNSSEC secures domain name lookups on the Internet by incorporating a chain of digital signatures into the DNS hierarchy.
EPP See Extensible Provisioning Protocol.
Existing TLD
A string included on the list at
Extended Evaluation The second stage of evaluation applicable for applications that do not pass Initial Evaluation, but are eligible for further review.
Extended Evaluation period The period that may follow the Initial Evaluation period, for additional review of eligible applications which do not pass the Initial Evaluation.
Extensible Provisioning Protocol A protocol used for electronic communication between a registrar and a registry for provisioning domain names.
Evaluator The individuals or organization(s) appointed by ICANN to perform review tasks within Initial Evaluation, Extended Evaluation, and Community Priority Evaluation under ICANN direction.
Evaluation fee The fee due from each applicant to obtain consideration of its application. The evaluation fee consists of a partial deposit and payment of the full fee amount for each application submitted. A deposit allows the applicant access to the TLD Application System. 
GAC See Governmental Advisory Committee. 
GAC Advice on New gTLDs Advice provided to the ICANN Board of Directors by the GAC in relation to one or more gTLD applications.
GAC Early Warning A notice issued by the GAC concerning a gTLD application indicating that the application is seen as potentially sensitive or problematic by one or more governments.
Geographic Names Panel (GNP) A panel of experts charged by ICANN with reviewing applied-for TLD strings to identify, and confirm required documentation for, geographic names.
Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) ICANN’s policy-development body for generic TLDs and the lead in developing the policy recommendations for the introduction of new gTLDs.
Generic top-level domain See gTLD.
Glue record An explicit notation of the IP address of a name server, placed in a zone outside of the zone that would ordinarily contain that information.
Governmental Advisory Committee The Governmental Advisory Committee was formed to consider and provide advice on the activities of ICANN as they relate to concerns of governments, particularly matters where there may be an interaction between ICANN’s policies and various laws and international agreements or where they may affect public policy issues.
gTLD A TLD that does not correspond to any country code.
Hyphen The hyphen “-” (Unicode code point U+0029).
Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) The IANA is the authority originally responsible for overseeing IP address allocation, coordinating the assignment of protocol parameters provided for in Internet technical standards, and managing the DNS, including delegating top-level domains, and overseeing the root name server system. Under ICANN, the IANA distributes addresses to the Regional Internet Registries, coordinates with the IETF and other technical bodies to assign protocol parameters, and oversees DNS operation.
ICANN Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
ICANN-accredited registrar An entity that has entered into a Registrar Accreditation Agreement with ICANN. The registrar has access to make changes to a registry by adding, deleting, or updating domain name records.
Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) A domain name including characters used in the local representation of languages not written with the basic Latin alphabet (a - z), European-Arabic digits (0 - 9), and the hyphen (-).
Internationalizing Domain Names in Applications (IDNA) The technical protocol used for processing domain names containing non-ASCII characters in the DNS.
IDN ccTLD Fast Track The process for introducing a limited number of IDN ccTLDs associated with the ISO-3166 two-letter codes. See
IDN table A table listing all those characters that a particular TLD registry supports. If some of these characters are considered variant characters, this is indicated next to those characters.  The IDN tables usually hold characters representing a specific language, or they can be characters from a specific script. IDN tables may be alternately referred to as “language variant tables”, “language tables,” or “script tables.”
IGO Inter-governmental organization.
Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) The IETF is a large, open international community of network designers, operators, vendors, and researchers concerned with the evolution of the Internet architecture and the smooth operation of the Internet. 
Initial Evaluation period The period during which ICANN will review an applied-for gTLD string, an applicant’s technical and financial capabilities, and an applicant’s proposed registry services.
International Phonetic Alphabet A notational standard for phonetic representation in multiple languages. See
IP address A unique identifier for a device on the Internet, used to accurately route traffic to that device. 
IPv4 Internet Protocol version 4.  Refers to the version of the Internet protocol that supports 32-bit IP addresses.
IPv6 Internet Protocol version 6.  Refers to the version of the Internet protocol that supports 128-bit IP addresses.
IXFR  Incremental Zone Transfer, a DNS protocol mechanism through which a partial copy of a DNS zone can be replicated to a remote DNS server.
LDH (Letter Digit Hyphen) The hostname convention defined in RFC 952, as modified by RFC 1123.
Legal Rights objection An objection made on the grounds that the applied-for gTLD string infringes existing legal rights of the objector.
Letter Any character between “a” and “z”(Unicode code points U+0061 to U+007A or U+0041 to U+005A).
Limited Public Interest objection An objection made on the grounds that the applied-for gTLD string is contrary to generally accepted legal norms of morality and public order that are recognized under principles of international law.
NS record A type of record in a DNS zone that signifies that part of that zone is delegated to a different set of authoritative name servers.
Objection A formal objection filed with a Dispute Resolution Service Provider in accordance with that provider’s procedures.
Objection filing period The period during which formal objections may be filed concerning a gTLD application submitted to ICANN.
Objector A person or entity that has filed a formal objection against a new gTLD application with the appropriate DRSP.
PDDRP See Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedure.
Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedure The Trademark Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedure (PDDRP) provides trademark holders opportunity to seek redress from new gTLD registry operators exhibiting a bad faith intent to profit from the systemic registration of infringing domain names. Remedies vary and may include termination.
Pre-delegation test A technical test required of applicants before delegation of the applied-for gTLD string into the root zone.
Primary contact The person named by the applicant as the main contact for the application, and having authority to execute decisions concerning the application. 
Principal place of business The location of the head office of a business or organization.
Registrant An entity that has registered a domain name.
Registrar See ICANN-accredited registrar.
Registry The authoritative master database of all domain names registered in each top-level domain. The registry operator keeps the master database and also generates the zone file that allows computers to route Internet traffic to and from top-level domains anywhere in the world.
Registry Agreement The agreement executed between ICANN and successful gTLD applicants, which appears as an attachment to Module 5 of the Applicant Guidebook. 
Registry operator The entity entering into the Registry Agreement with ICANN, responsible for setting up and maintaining the operation of the registry.
Registry services (1) Operations of the registry critical to the following tasks: (i) the receipt of data from registrars concerning registrations of domain names and name servers; (ii) provision to registrars of status information relating to the zone servers for the TLD; (iii) dissemination of TLD zone files; (iv) operation of the registry zone servers; and (v) dissemination of contact and other information concerning domain name server registrations in the TLD as required by the registry agreement; and (2) other products or services that the registry operator is required to provide because of the establishment of a consensus policy; and (3) any other products or services that only a registry operator is capable of providing, by reason of its designation as the registry operator. See for a full definition of Registry Services. 
Registry Services Technical Evaluation Panel (RSTEP) The Registry Services Technical Evaluation Panel is a group of experts in the design, management, and implementation of the complex systems and standards-protocols used in the Internet infrastructure and DNS. RSTEP members are selected by its chair. All RSTEP members and the chair have executed an agreement requiring that they consider the issues before the panel neutrally and according to the specified definitions of security and stability. 
Reserved Name A string included on the Top-Level Reserved Names List (Refer to Module 2 of the Applicant Guidebook).
Request for Comments (RFC) The RFC document series is the official publication channel for Internet standards documents and other publications of the IESG, IAB, and Internet community.
Rightsholder The person or entity that maintains a set of rights to a certain piece of property.
Root Zone The root zone database represents the delegation details of top-level domains, including gTLDs and ccTLDs. As manager of the DNS root zone, IANA is responsible for coordinating these delegations in accordance with its policies and procedures.
Round See application round.
Script A collection of symbols used for writing a language. There are three basic kinds of scripts. One is the alphabetic (e.g. Arabic, Cyrillic, Latin), with individual elements termed “letters.” A second is ideographic (e.g. Chinese), the elements of which are “ideographs.” The third is termed a syllabary (e.g. Hangul), with its individual elements representing syllables. The writing systems of most languages use only one script but there are exceptions such as for example, Japanese, which uses four different scripts, representing all three of the categories listed here.
Second level name A domain name that has been registered in a given top-level domain. For example, <> is a second-level name. “ICANN” is the second-level label.
Security In relation to a proposed registry service, an effect on security by the proposed Registry Service means (1) unauthorized disclosure, alteration, insertion, or destruction of registry data, or (2) unauthorized access to or disclosure of information or resources on the Internet by systems operating in accordance with all applicable standards.
Shared Registry System (SRS) A system that allows multiple registrars to make changes to a registry simultaneously.
Slot request A step within the application submission period in which the applicant submits a deposit for each requested slot in the TLD Application System. One slot is designated per application.
In relation to a proposed registry service, an effect on stability means that the proposed registry service (1) does not comply with applicable relevant standards that are authoritative and published by a well-established, recognized, and authoritative standards body, such as relevant standards-track or best current practice RFCs sponsored by the IETF; or (2) creates a condition that adversely affects the throughput, response time, consistency, or coherence of responses to Internet servers or end systems, operating in accordance with applicable relevant standards that are authoritative and published by a well-established, recognized and authoritative standards body, such as relevant standards-track or best current practice RFCs and relying on registry operator’s delegation information or provisioning services. 
Standard application An application that has not been designated by the applicant as community-based.
String The string of characters comprising an applied-for gTLD.
String confusion objection An objection made on the grounds that the applied-for gTLD string is confusingly similar to an existing TLD or to another applied-for gTLD.
String Similarity Algorithm An algorithmic tool used to help identify applied-for gTLD strings that may result in string confusion.
String Similarity Panel A panel charged with assessing whether applied-for gTLD strings create a probability of user confusion due to similarity with other specified strings.
String contention  The scenario in which there is more than one qualified applicant for the same gTLD or for gTLDs that are so similar that they create a probability of user confusion if more than one of the strings is delegated into the root zone.
Sunrise A pre-launch phase providing mark holders the opportunity to register domain names in a TLD before registration is generally available to the public. Mandatory in all new gTLDs.
TAS See TLD Application System.
TLD See Top-Level Domain
TLD Application System  The online interface for submission of gTLD applications to ICANN.
Top-Level Domain Top-Level Domains (TLDs) are the names at the top of the DNS naming hierarchy. They appear in domain names as the string of letters following the last dot, such as “NET” in The TLD administrator controls what second-level names are recognized in that TLD. The administrators of the root domain or root zone control what TLDs are recognized by the DNS.
Trademark Claims Generates real-time notice to someone attempting to register a domain name if it matches a trademark in the Clearinghouse. Also notifies trademark holders when domain names are registered that match marks in the Clearinghouse. Mandatory in all new gTLDs.
Trademark Clearinghouse A repository for trademark data supporting rights-protection services offered by new gTLD registries.
U-Label The Unicode form of an IDN label, i.e., the string which a user expects to see displayed in applications.
Unicode A standard describing a repertoire of characters used to represent most of the world’s languages in written form. The Unicode standard contains tables that list the "code points" (unique numbers) for each local character identified. The collection of scripts used to do this is maintained by the Unicode Consortium.
Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) A policy for resolving disputes arising from alleged abusive registrations of domain names (for example, cybersquatting), allowing expedited administrative proceedings that a trademark rights holder initiates by filing a complaint with an approved dispute resolution service provider. 
Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) Provides trademark holders with a rapid and efficient mechanism to "take down" undeniably infringing domain names. A successful proceeding will result in suspension of the domain name. Compliance with results mandatory for all new gTLD operators.
Variant characters Variant characters occur where two or more characters can be used interchangeably.
Variant TLDs TLD strings resulting from the substitution of one or more characters in a string with variant characters from an IDN table.
Whois Records containing registration information about registered domain names.