Tag Archives: new gTLDs

Norway Considers New gTLDs Such as .OSLO

A working group has been formed by the Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communicationsto consider whether there is a demand in the country for new generic Top Level Domainssuch as .OSLO or .TRONDELAG. The Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority will chair the group.Norid, the registry for .NO domain names, will be represented in the working group together with several other experts and stakeholders, such as the Consumer Council of Norway, the Norwegian Industrial Property Office and Abelia – the Business Association of Norwegian knowledge and technology based enterprises, and the University of Oslo, Faculty of Law.The working group’s mandate is to discuss and advise on the need for more TLDs that are in Norway’s national interest, as well as looking at the management model should there be a demand for such gTLDs.

Madrid Enters The Race for New Top Level Domain

The growing list of contenders for new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) has seen the Spanish city of Madrid enter the race with a proposal for .MADRID.

The idea for .MADRID follows the approval in 2006 of .CAT to represent the Catalan community around the world, but originally from Spain.

PuntoMadrid is interested in what domain names people would like to register and have a form where you can reserve your .MADRID domain for individuals, companies and distributors. How this works in practice is not known, but it could also help PuntoMadrid determine what are the premium and most wanted domain names should they be successful in their application.

.MADRID is, like .CAT is for the Catalan community, aimed at helping developing the unique cultural aspects for the city.

If approved, companies, associations and individuals in the community of Madrid would be able to register their name or marks with the extension .MADRID. Other Spanish initiatives for new gTLDs include .Gal (Galicia), .EUS (Euskadi) and .BCN (Barcelona).

For more information on the .MADRID initiative, see puntomadrid.org.

ICANN's New gTLD Pre-Registration Opposed by INTA

The International Trademark Association (INTA), a not-for-profit membership association of 5,900 trademark owners, professionals and academics, from more than 190 countries, emailed its members on 11 January to suggest they support their opposition to ICANN’s proposed expressions of interest (EOI) process. Continue reading ICANN's New gTLD Pre-Registration Opposed by INTA

ICANN: New gTLD Program – ICANN Proposes Draft Expression of Interest / Pre-Registrations Model

ICANN is publishing today for public comment a draft model for soliciting Expressions of Interest for new generic top-level domains (new gTLDs) [PDF, 192K]. According to this EOI / pre-registration model, entities interested in participating in the first round of the New gTLD Program are required to submit basic information about the participating entity and the requested top-level domain, also referred to as “string”.The model is a direct result of community recommendations for such an undertaking. The Board directed that a draft model be constructed based on public comment for additional discussion. A decision on whether to proceed and, if so under what model, will be taken after this round of public comment.The public comment period opens on 18 December, 2009 and closes on 27 January, 2010. Details can be found at icann.org/en/public-comment/public-comment-201001.htm#draft-eoi.The proposed model published today is not an operationally complete plan, i.e., it is not intended to include all the details that would be needed for implementation of a functioning process. Rather, it is intended to convey the detail necessary for robust public discussion. After the end of this public comment period, the ICANN Board will convene to consider the community feedback and decide on the path forward. A decision is expected in the first quarter of 2010. If approved, the final process and the opening date for EOI will be published.Highlights of the draft EOI / pre-registration model:* Participation in the EOI is mandatory for eligibility to submit a gTLD application in the first round. Subsequent application rounds will be open to any eligible applicants.
* A deposit of US$55,000 is required for the EOI, and will be used as a credit against the US$185,000 evaluation fee.
* The deposit is refundable if the New gTLD Program does not launch within a specific time period. Details will be outlined in the final EOI model.
* Participants are notified that there may be subsequent amendments to the Draft Applicant Guidebook. It is the intention to conclude many current open issues prior to initiation of the EOI process.
* A fully executed communications campaign, intended to ensure global awareness about the EOI, will precede the opening of the process.
* Participants will be required to provide specific information concerning the participating entity and the requested string.
* The participant and string information will be made public.
* The EOI launch is conditional on the conclusion of many of the outstanding issues, for example, issues concerning vertical separation and the IDN three-character string requirements. Solutions for these and other issues are expected to be included in the Draft Applicant Guidebook, version 4.Below is a short Q&A regarding the proposed EOI draft model. For details, please refer to the icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/eoi-model-18dec09-en.pdf [PDF, 192K].What is the value in conducting an EOI / pre-registration process?An EOI process could provide ICANN and the Internet community important information that will contribute to a better understanding of, for example: the economic demand for new gTLDs; the number and kind of strings requested; certainty as to root-zone delegation rates; and inform the program’s operational readiness plan. It is also believed that the draft EOI model may assist with the resolution of outstanding issues.The impetus for publishing an EOI model began at the ICANN Seoul Meeting where a significant number of community members expressed interest in evaluating a process that calls for “expressions of interest” from organizations that have a serious interest in applying for a new gTLD. The Board subsequently directed staff to develop a model, and in order to facilitate consideration of these issues, staff posted a set of conceptual questions relating to the EOI for community feedback. The analysis of these comments helped in the development of the current proposed model.Are there any pre-conditions for the launch of the EOI?Yes, if the Board approves this path forward, there are a few pre-conditions to the EOI launch, for example: t he resolution on issues regarding vertical separation of registries and registrars; resolution on the three-character string requirements; the publication of Draft Applicant Guidebook, version 4; the execution of a communication campaign that will work to ensure that all parties wishing to participate are knowledgeable of the opportunity.How does the EOI impact the continuing development of the program?ICANN and the community continue to work on the program’s development and the resolution of open issues, including the next iteration of the Draft Applicant Guidebook, and the program’s operational readiness.Who can participate in the EOI process?As outlined in the Draft Applicant Guidebook, version 3, any public or private organization from any part of the world can apply. As described above, certain key provisions that significantly affect an entity’s ability to participate would have to be settled prior to the EOI launch.When will the EOI application period open?The ICANN Board will be considering the draft EOI model and the community feedback during its meeting in February, 2010. If the Board decides that this is the path forward, staff will publish the final model along with instructions for a specific launch date.How will EOI applications be submitted?Entities will be able to apply on-line. ICANN will use the TLD Application System (TAS) that is already in development for the program. The TAS system will be accessed through ICANN’s website.What information will be required from participating entities?The proposed draft model requires participants to answer questions 1 through 14, which are currently outlined in the Draft Applicant Guidebook, version 3: Evaluation Questions and Criteria (icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/draft-evaluation-criteria-clean-04oct09-en.pdf [PDF, 741K]). These include: contact information of the participating entity; proof of legal establishment and good standing; disclosures concerning the participant’s background, and; the requested string and associated IDN information, if applicable.Can an entity that does not participate in the EOI still be eligible to apply when the New gTLD Program officially launches?Yes, but not in the first round. According to the proposed draft model, participation in the EOI is mandatory for eligibility in the first new gTLD application round. There will be future opportunities to apply, however, the dates are not yet available.Why is a deposit required and how was the US$55,000 determined?One of the objectives of the EOI process is to generate data that will drive validation of implementation work and operational readiness. The deposit is one means of giving weight to the process and the submissions. Absent a deposit of a sufficient amount, participants could provide false or misleading information, which would undermine the reliability of the data to be used for the purposes intended.The proposed US$55,000 EOI deposit is the non-refundable portion of the evaluation fee (currently US$185,000 as per Draft Applicant Guidebook, version 3). This amount strikes a balance between two negative outcomes, that a low amount could result in speculation and a high amount could be a barrier to entry. The US$55,000 deposit is would be considered as a credit against the eventual fee that accompanies submission of an application.Is the deposit refundable?Under the current proposed draft model, the US$55,000 deposit is non-refundable, except in specified, limited circumstances, for example, if the first application round does not start within a defined time period (currently, 18 months from the closing date of the EOI submission period).What happens to the EOI information collected by ICANN?ICANN plans to publish on its website the information collected from the participants along with the requested strings submitted during the EOI.Related Resources :

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ICANN: Public Comment: STI Report on Trademark Protection in New gTLDs

ICANN logoThe Special Trademarks Issues Working Team (STI) has published its Report on its recommendations to create a Trademark Clearinghouse and Uniform Rapid Suspension procedure to protect trademarks in the New GTLD Program. The public comment period ends on 26 January 2010.

Special Trademark Issues Review Team Recommendations [PDF, 404K]

You can also find this report at gnso.icann.org/issues/.


On 12 October 2009, the ICANN Board sent a letter [PDF, 736K] to the GNSO requesting its review of the policy implications of certain trademark protection mechanisms proposed for the New gTLD Program, as described in the Draft Applicant Guidebook (icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/draft-rfp-clean-04oct09-en.pdf [PDF, 198K]) and accompanying memoranda. Specifically, the Board Letter requested that the GNSO provide input on whether it approves the proposed staff model , or, in the alternative, the GNSO could propose an alternative that is equivalent or more effective and implementable.

In response, t he GNSO adopted a resolution creating the Special Trademarks Issues review team (STI) on 28 October 2009, which included representatives from each Stakeholder Group ; At-Large; Nominating Committee Appointees; and the Government Advisory Committee, to analyze the specific rights protection mechanisms that have been proposed for inclusion in the Draft Applicant Guidebook. The STI delivered to the GNSO Council its Report [PDF, 272K], which describes an alternative model that the STI believes is more effective and implementable than the model proposed in the Draft Applicant Guidebook version 3. The GNSO Council unanimously approved the recommendations contained in the STI Report for public comment and consideration by ICANN when it finalizes the proposed model for trademark protection in the New gTLD Program.

For additional information on the new gTLD Program: icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/related-en.htm.

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ICANN Continues Reporting on the Selection Process of Independent Evaluators for the New gTLD Program

ICANN logoICANN continues with the review and selection process of independent evaluators that will perform key roles in reviewing applications for new generic top-level domains (gTLDs).

There are 3 phases to the evaluation process:

  1. General criteria scoring to identify a short list of candidates per panel
  2. Oral presentations with short-listed candidates
  3. Presentation of recommended candidates to Board

Phase one of the selection process (e.g., general criteria scoring grid) has been completed and each candidate is being notified of their status and next steps. The candidates that successfully passed this phase will be invited to discuss their qualifications via oral and written presentations. The purpose of this next phase is to meet with the candidate’s leadership and core team members to evaluate in detail the candidate’s approach, experience, technical competency, commitment and proposed costing model.

The retention of the Evaluation Panelists is expected to occur in 2010 and names of the selected evaluation panelists will be published at that time.

Related Resources:

Information about the New gTLD Program:icann.org/en/topics/new-gtld-program.htm

Information about Independent Evaluators Search:icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/tenders-eoi-en.htm

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ICANN: Evaluators Selection for the New gTLD Program Continues

ICANN logoICANN has received 12 responses to the call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) for independent evaluators in the new generic top-level domain name (gTLD) program. The application period for organizations interested in evaluating applications for new gTLDs took place between 13 April and 15 September 2009. The respondents are well-qualified and respected organizations from Australia, Belgium, Iran, Jordan, United Kingdom, and the United States.

The panel selection process is part of the New gTLD Program’s operational readiness and organizations will be retained to examine the applications covering the following areas: (1) Applicant Evaluation (Technical and Financial Evaluation); (2) Geographical Names; (3) String Similarity; (4) Community Priority (formerly known as Comparative Evaluation).

List of respondents

Organization Location
1. Deloitte & Laga Belgium
2. Economist Intelligence Unit United States
3. Ernst & Young United States
4. Fulcrum Financial Inquiry United States
5. GeoLang LTD United Kingdom
6. InterConnect Communications United Kingdom
7. IranNSR Iran
8. JAS Communications United States
9. KPMG United States
10. TAEUS International United States
11. Talal Abu Ghazaleh Information Technology International Jordan
12. Webb Henderson Australia

Although the launch date of the gTLD Program remains uncertain, ICANN is moving forward with securing Evaluation Panelists, due to the critical nature of their involvement in the process and the anticipated lead time required to train and integrate the evaluation processes with each firm.

Over the next few months, ICANN will identify a short-list of qualified candidates that demonstrate sufficient expertise, resources and geographic diversity to meet program needs. The short-listed candidates will be selected based on a scoring system developed in line with vendor selection processes previously employed by ICANN staff – a copy of the general criteria is included below. The short-listed candidates will be invited to present their qualifications to ICANN staff and subject matter experts for each area of assessment. The candidates will be asked a series of process and technical questions that will enable staff to better understand the candidate’s approach to evaluating applications in an effective and efficient manner, technical competence, and maintaining an acceptable level of quality and consistency of analysis and results. Each candidate’s key team members will also be evaluated on responses to situations they may encounter during the application evaluation process.

For each area of assessment, ICANN’s plan is to have primary and back up evaluation service providers. The selection of back up panelists is to provide additional and necessary benefits, such as, managing conflicts of interest between the evaluation and applicants, promoting competition and accountability amongst the evaluation panelists to promote a consistently high quality

of service, and to provide additional services should the primary panelist have challenges with quality, consistency, and/or scalability.

As these steps are completed, ICANN will share progress with the community as we move towards the selecting the final evaluation panelist service providers. The retention of the service providers is expected to occur in the first half of 2010.

General Criteria Matrix

No General Questions Score (1 – 10)
Candidate A Candidate B Candidate C Candidate D Candidate E Candidate F Candidate G
Approach and Scalability
1 The candidates overall approach is logical, achievable, demonstrates quality, and is clear about managing conflicts of interest in appearance or fact.
2 The completion of application analysis adequately meets the timing requirements described in the Applicant Guidebook; Initial Evaluation (4.5 months), Extended Evaluation (5 months), etc.
3 The evaluation approach adequately covers the principles of fairness, transparency, and non-discrimination.
4 The candidates approach for scaling between 100 to 2,000 applications is clear and achievable
5 The approach includes a process to ensure the consistency of evaluation results.
6 Through its demonstrated knowledge of the new gTLD program and Applicant Guidebook the candidate has described how it will provide input to help continually refine the process to ensure consistent, objective analysis and results.
Skill Set & Experience
7 The candidate has an understanding of ICANN, its role, structure and processes, including DNS and past gTLD application & evaluation rounds
8 The candidate has experience with the operation of registries and/or registrars
9 The resources provided for the evaluation panel have the ability to convene globally and have the appropriate skill set and experience to conduct the analysis and provide sufficient results.
Cost & Sustainability
10 The cost to perform evaluation services, including assumptions for determining such costs, are transparent, reasonable, and sustainable.

Related Resources:

For Program details, go to: icann.org/en/topics/new-gtld-program.htm

For International Tenders & Expressions of Interest details go to: icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/tenders-eoi-en.htm

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