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April in Beijing…


ICANN 46 will be gathering in Beijing, China 7-11. For more information about schedule, venues, sponsors and hotel booking, please go HERE.

January 8, 2013   No Comments

Results of ICANN’s Prioritization Draw for the New gTLDS

See who got lucky and is rolling out first: HERE.

December 20, 2012   No Comments

ICANN Sells Tickets for their New gTLD Lottery

From DomainNameNews

ICANN has opened their ticket sales for the lottery for new TLD applicants earlier today. Ticket sales end on December 17th at 11am PST.Due to the lottery laws in California, the tickets have to purchased for $100 in person. Originally ICANN had proposed a digital archery system, where applicants would provide a target time and whoever clicked a link closest to their target time would be processed first, but decided to proceed with a lottery instead due to protest from the community. You can review the full ICANN rules for the lottery draw.

For the full skinny go HERE.

December 14, 2012   No Comments

Obama Signs Safe Web Act into Law

From The Hill

President Obama signed into law on Tuesday a bill that would reauthorize the Federal Trade Commission’s authority to clamp down on Internet fraud and online scammers based abroad.

Outgoing California Republican Rep. Mary Bono Mack was the lead co-sponsor of the bill, the U.S. Safe Web Act, which expands the FTC’s powers so it can share information about cross-border online fraud with foreign law enforcement authorities.

The bill was originally passed by Congress in 2006 and was set to expire next year. With the president’s signature, the measure is reauthorized through September 2020.

For the full skinny go HERE.

December 5, 2012   No Comments

ICANN New gTLDs Prioritization Draw: FAQs


About the Draw

What is the Prioritization Draw?

The Prioritization Draw is an equitable and fair way to order the release of initial evaluation results for all new gTLD applications. The Draw will determine the order by which applications move through the remaining stages of the program.

When and where will the Draw take place?

The Prioritization Draw will be held on 17 December 2012 beginning at 1:00 p.m. PST (19:00 UTC) at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport Hotel, located at 5711 West Century Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90045 in the International Ballroom on the Lobby Level.

Why is the Draw event in California?

ICANN has been authorized to conduct a raffle in California by the California Department of Justice (Raffle Registration Number RJ0007607). Accordingly, the Draw must be conducted pursuant to California law, which requires us to conduct the raffle in California.

May anyone attend the actual Draw?

Yes. The Draw event is open to the public, but just like an ICANN meeting you must register in order to attend. You can register at

Do we have to be present at the Draw event to receive a priority number?

No. Tickets must be purchased in person but you do not need to be present at the Draw event to receive a priority number.

If you cannot attend the Draw event but you want to participate in the Draw, you must designate a representative or proxy to purchase a ticket for each application you want to receive a priority number.

If you cannot attend and do not want to participate, no action is needed.

If you cannot attend the Draw event you will be able to watch the event online. We will have a live stream from the New gTLD microsite.

Get the full skinny HERE.


December 3, 2012   No Comments

News from ICANN’s Trademark Clearing House Meetings

From ICANN Blog

To wrap up the series of meetings ICANN convened with stakeholders to find common ground on Trademark Clearinghouse implementation, we conducted a follow-up briefing today for the group who worked on these issues during our meetings in Brussels and Los Angeles.

We discussed two items:

  1. An update on the Trademark Clearinghouse contract, and
  2. A way forward on the strawman solution developed during the meeting in Los Angeles.


ICANN has continued to negotiate the agreements for database services with IBM and for validation services with Deloitte to include additional terms that will provide ICANN with maximum operational flexibility and guaranteed stewardship of the trademark database.

Here is an overview:

  1. ICANN retains all intellectual property rights in the Trademark Clearinghouse data.
  2. Deloitte’s validation services are to be non-exclusive. ICANN may add additional validators after a threshold of minimum stability is met.
  3. Trademark submission fees are capped at USD 150 per record. Discounts are available for bulk & multi-year submissions.
  4. IBM will charge Deloitte for database access via an application processing interface (API), and will charge registries and registrars for real-time access to the database during the sunrise and claims periods.
  5. ICANN may audit Deloitte’s performance (and revenues/costs) to confirm that the costs and fees for validation services are reasonable.


We are moving to sign agreements as soon as possible and the agreements will be posted once signed.

For the full skinny go HERE.

November 27, 2012   No Comments

GAC Rings in with Early Warnings

From Tech World

A panel representing about 50 of the world’s national governments has revealed a list of the proposed generic top-level domain (gTLD) names to which there have been objections.

Back in May, the ICANN registration process for new gTLDs finally drew to a close, and in June ICANN published a list of which domain names had been applied for and by whom. A total of 1,930 applications were received for suffixes such as .cloud, .music, .docs and .lol.

ICANN said at the time that anyone who objected to an application and believed they had the grounds to do so could file a formal objection within seven months.

In August it was revealed that Saudi Arabia had objected to a variety of new gTLDs including .gay, which it said promotes homosexuality and could be offensive to societies that consider it to be contrary to their culture.

People from other countries also complained about some of the proposed gTLDs, for example about the use of the .patagonia, which is said to be the name of a geographical region and should not be assigned to a private company.

Now the the Government Advisory Committee (GAC), which provides advice to ICANN on issues of public policy, has filed 242 “Early Warnings” on applications that are thought to be controversial or sensitive.

Early Warnings mainly consist of requests for information, or requests for clarity on certain aspects of an application. They are intended to give the applicant an opportunity to withdraw their application and recover the bulk of their $185,000 (£116,300) registration fee.

Applicants have 21 days to respond to the Early Warning. If the matter is not resolved amicably, the GAC can lodge a formal complaint in April.

“They are looking for strings that have broad uses and where one entity is seeking exclusive use,” Bruce Tonkin, vice-chair of ICANN’s board told the BBC. “What that means is that they are worried about things like Google running .search, or Amazon running .book.”

The GAC’s Early Warnings list, which is available here, also indicates problems with religious terms like .islam, .bible and .church.

See the full skinny HERE.


November 26, 2012   No Comments

New gTLD Prioritization Draw


A Prioritization Draw (“Draw”) will be held on 17 December 2012 in Los Angeles to assign priority numbers to all new gTLD applications. Each application will be assigned a randomly-drawn priority number. These priority numbers will be used to determine the order in which initial evaluation results are released. Only those Applicants who purchase a ticket will be able to participate in the Draw.

The Draw

The Prioritization Draw will be held on 17 December 2012 at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport located at 5711 West Century Blvd, Los Angeles, California, 90045.

The Draw will begin at 1:00 p.m PST, in the International Ballroom and last until approximately 7:00 p.m., or until the last ticket has been drawn and assigned a priority number.

To participate in the Draw, an Applicant, through a designated representative or proxy (see below for more details) must purchase a ticket in person for each application that the Applicant wants prioritized.

Applicants are not required to attend the 17 December 2012 Draw to receive a prioritization number for each application.

Results of the Draw will be announced on the day of the Draw and the results will be posted on ICANN’s website at within 24 hours of the end of the Draw.

ICANN reserves the right to revise the date, time, and location of the Draw, as well as the date and time for posting the results of the Draw. If any changes do occur, ICANN will notify all Applicants.

For the full skinny go HERE.


November 23, 2012   No Comments

Leahy Scuttles His Warrantless e-Mail Surveillance Bill


After public criticism of proposal that lets government agencies warrantlessly access Americans’ e-mail, Sen. Patrick Leahy says he will “not support” such an idea at next week’s vote.

Sen. Patrick Leahy has abandoned his controversial proposal that would grant government agencies more surveillance power — including warrantless access to Americans’ e-mail accounts — than they possess under current law.

The Vermont Democrat said today on Twitter that he would “not support such an exception” for warrantless access. The remarks came a few hours after a CNET article was published this morning that disclosed the existence of the measure.

For the full skinny go HERE.

November 21, 2012   No Comments

Building a Secure and Reliable Trademark Clearinghouse


by Fadi Chehadé | 7 November 2012

Last week, I invited a group of stakeholder representatives to work with ICANN on architecture/implementation solutions for the Trademark Clearinghouse. The issues we tackled included:

  • Registration: How trademark data will be verified and recorded in the Clearinghouse.
  • Sunrise Management: How new gTLD registries will use Clearinghouse data to confirm eligibility for early registration of domain names.
  • Claims Management: How new gTLD registries and registrars will facilitate required notices of Clearinghouse records during the domain name registration process.

Members of the Business, Intellectual Property, and Noncommercial Users constituencies, as well as the Registrar and Registry stakeholder groups, all contributed to a constructive discussion on implementation approaches, and found common ground in several areas.

Here is a summary of our findings:

Trademark Submission and Verification

Publication of Functional Specifications
ICANN will provide a roadmap for the development of the trademark submission and verification components of the Clearinghouse in December 2012. It will clearly define the capabilities that will be available in the initial release planned for early 2013, to support those parties who will be implementing and building internal processes and systems to work with this element of the Clearinghouse.

TLD Launch and Sunrise Information
ICANN is exploring options to help ensure that timely and accurate information on new gTLD launches is readily available. The options we discussed include an advance notice requirement and a central web portal to track the dates and requirements for each new gTLD sunrise period. Organizing this information in a timely fashion will keep users informed of current activity and help them plan effectively for upcoming launches. ICANN will deliver such capabilities next year before delegating any new gTLDs.

Communications and Training Activities
We agreed that there should be implementation seminars conducted periodically to ensure a continuous dialogue between the implementers and the different types of users. Given the diversity of users we expect will access the Clearinghouse (including a range of volume and service roles), training “tracks” will help Clearinghouse users become familiar with specific features most useful to them. Educational materials, including a step-by-step guide to the verification process, also will be available. ICANN will coordinate the provisioning of such services with its delivery partner in the near term.

Sunrise Implementation

Use of Signed Sunrise Data Files
The group agreed to support a model for sunrise in which Clearinghouse record data is provided to rights holders in the form of a data file cryptographically signed with a Clearinghouse public key. It can then be used to enable registration of a domain name in the sunrise period. The specific fields to be included in the file are matters for follow-up discussions.

Flexibility for Rights Holders in Sunrise
The group discussed the degree of “matching” that should be required between the Clearinghouse record and the Whois data for a domain name registered based on the sunrise eligibility. Given that a valid data file means that the Clearinghouse has verified the information, and that flexibility is important to trademark holders, we did not reach agreement on a matching requirement. However, registries are free to perform additional verification steps at their discretion. Dispute resolution procedures are available to address cases of fraud or other abuse relating to sunrise registrations.

Trademark Claims Implementation

Centralized and De-centralized Features
Participants reviewed the features of possible centralized and decentralized systems, and agreed to support a “hybrid” system for Trademark Claims. In this system, a file of domain name labels derived from the trademarks recorded in the Clearinghouse (and hence subject to a Claims Notice) would be distributed to all registries and updated on a regular basis, and a live query system would be used to retrieve the detailed data from the Clearinghouse when necessary to display the Claims Notice to a prospective registrant. To ensure accuracy and consistency across TLDs, it was agreed that there should be a compliance requirement for the Clearinghouse to report to ICANN when registries don’t download the list of names with the frequency required.

Registry guidelines
All new gTLD registries are required to offer a minimum 30-day sunrise period, and to offer the trademark claims service for the at least first 60 days of general registration. Participants agreed to collaborate on recommended definitions to support additional clarity around these periods, in connection with ICANN’s publication of guidelines for registries concerning the sunrise and claims services. The 30 and 60 day periods are minimums, and registries have discretion to extend both periods.

Data protection
There was discussion on implementing an appropriate framework for access and use of the data. The group considered whether measures were necessary specifically to address potential mining of the Clearinghouse database for purposes other than to support the rights protection mechanisms. Given that the Trademark Clearinghouse is designed to provide trademark data for particular purposes, there was agreement that most controls would be ineffective in attempting to control data elements once provided to other parties.

Next Steps

The work we accomplished last week in Brussels puts us on solid ground for continued progress. We will hold follow-up meetings next week in Los Angeles with stakeholder groups invited to send representatives. A technical session with the Clearinghouse service provider will cover implementation architecture for Sunrise and Trademark Claims. A second meeting will cover the recent IPC/BC proposal for Improvements and Enhancements to the RPMs for new gTLDs strictly focusing on implementation versus policy issues, as well as the business and contractual framework for the Clearinghouse, including the service-level agreements and pricing.

My thanks to both the stakeholders and the ICANN team for their contributions to this effort. We made real progress!





November 10, 2012   No Comments