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[authors: Jamison Arterton and Geri Haighton]
As previously posted, ICANN’s TLD application system (“TAS”) has been plagued by a “technical glitch ” that has caused the online application system for new generic top level domains (gTLDs) to be taken offline in order to protect the confidential information of the applicants. Despite prior indications that the system would reopen in late April, the TAS system remains offline.
ICANN recently announced that it has now provided notification to all users as to whether their confidential information might have been impacted by the system error. Such notifications were sent to the 1,275 registered TAS users in four categories:
ICANN is currently planning to reopen TAS on May 22, 2012 and anticipates a closing date of May 30, 2012. However, ICANN has not yet indicated how this time frame will impact the remaining timeline for the TLD system rollout.
Also, in recognition of the inconvenience caused by the suspension of the TLD application system, ICANN has offered to provide a full refund of the application fees paid by any new gTLD applicant that wishes to withdraw its application prior to publication of the list of applied-for new top-level domain names. ICANN acknowledges, though, that this gesture ”represents an increase of only US $5000 over the refund that withdrawing applicants would otherwise receive[.]“ This may not offer applicants who are now distrustful of the application system much relief, particularly those who have invested significant resources in preparing the voluminous information (e.g., Applicant Guidebook, Module 2, Attachment 2) required for completion of the gTLD application.
ICANN’s refund offer, in general, has not placated trademark owners. For example, the Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) sent a letter to ICANN’s Board of Directors urging it to reconsider the planned use of “digital archery” to batch new gTLD applications. IPC criticized the “digital archery” plan as “complex, untried, and readily subject to gaming[,]” as well as “arcane and seemingly arbitrary[.]“ Seems pretty accurate to us.
Published In: Administrative Agency Updates, Communications & Media Updates, Intellectual Property Updates, Science, Computers & Technology Updates
DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.
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