January ICANN/New gTLD Update

It is the start of a new year and ICANN is already busy with a number of developments. NetNames summarized the latest news:

  • The public is now able to comment on the Brand Registry Group proposal to introduce a new specification to the Registry Agreement, which will be available to Registry Operators that operate a “.Brand TLD” For further information, see here: (http://www.icann.org/en/news/public-comment/spec13-06dec13-en.htm).
  • An ICANN Policy Development Process is underway to discuss the issues surrounding Proxy and Privacy Services and how to accredit providers of such services. NetNames is part of this working group and will report back on progress over the course of the new few months.
  • Google is the first organization to register a new gTLD using the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH).
  • The Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) ‘Sunrise’ period for .shabaka (شبكة) closed in early January with registrations from Google, Rolex and Richemont. With limited Arabic Trademarks in the TMCH, the .shabaka ‘Sunrise’ period was not expected to be large but with many important brands looking to take advantage of local language IDNs, this looks like an encouraging start for internet users with non-Latin alphabets.
  • The first gTLD ‘Sunrise’ periods are due to close at the end of January and the first of the ‘Landrush’ phases will then start.

If you have not submitted ‘sunrise’ registration orders for these gTLDs or do not have your trademarks registered in the Trademark Clearinghouse – now is the time to review your strategy as NetNames expects to see 34 new gTLDs open for ‘Landrush’ throughout February.