ICANN Collects $350 Million in Application Fees and Re-Targets New gTLD Application Deadline, But Fails to Set New Reveal Date

On May 8, 2012, ICANN’s Chief Operating Officer, Akram Atallah, issued a statement advising that ICANN had targeted "22 May 2012 as the intended reopening date for the TLD Application System." He also stated that "it is anticipated" that the application system will be open 5 business days, closing on 30 May. Although the statement does not identify a new Reveal Date for publishing the list of TLD applicants and the domains for which they have applied, it is unlikely that this could happen before June 13, 2012.

As we previously noted, ICANN became aware of a security breach in the application process that allowed some users to view the names and information of other applicants, prompting it to prematurely close the TLD Application System (TAS) at 8 am on April 12, 2012 instead of midnight that same day. ICANN states that it notified all affected users on May 8. However, it is possible there may be further delay or ramifications of the problem because an entirely new set of instances were discovered on May 7, 2012, according to Mr. Atallah.

Prior to closing the TAS, 1,268 organizations had applied for 2,091 New gTLD’s, and there are approximately another 214 applications for which payment has not yet been submitted. ICANN announced that it had collected $350 million in gTLD application fees to date.

In an earlier announcement, ICANN offered New gTLD applicants full refunds of the $185,000 application fee if they decide not to pursue registration. Applicants wishing to take advantage of this refund must notify ICANN of their intent to withdraw their applications before public release of the application information on the currently unknown Reveal Date.

Marshall, Gerstein & Borun will continue to monitor and provide updates on the New gTLD application process. We are prepared to defend trademarks on the new internet, and to provide review, objection, and registration services. There is also still time to take advantage of our Complimentary New gTLD Review program. See our announcement and contact us if you want a free review of list of New gTLDs for potential conflicts with up to ten of your company’s trademarks. Please contact us if you are not already a subscriber to these client alerts or to request that we include additional addressees.

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