ICANN has confirmed that it will hold a technical summit to discuss the forthcoming Trademark Clearinghouse in Brussels less than two weeks from now.
The two-day meeting will be held at the offices of Deloitte, which along with IBM has been contracted as the TMCH provider, from August 20 to 21.
As you might expect by now from the new gTLD program, the summit’s organization wasn’t particularly timely or well-communicated, leaving parts of the community fuming.
The meeting was demanded by registries and registrars at the Prague meeting in June — they want a chance for their technical guys to get into the nitty-gritty of the TMCH implmentation.
But confirmation that it’s actually going ahead only arrived in the last couple of days, leaving companies in the US and Asia-Pacific regions facing steep last-minute air fares or the less-ideal option of remote participation at ungodly hours.
I get the impression that the TMCH providers, which have been less than communicative with the registrars and registries they will soon be servicing, might be as much to blame as ICANN this time.
The TMCH is a repository for trademark data that new gTLD registries will be obliged to use in their sunrise and immediate post-launch periods.
While the policy argument has ostensibly been settled, many technical details that still need to be ironed out could have huge implications.
For example, if the registration process flow requires live queries to the TMCH, downtime could be devastating for registries if, as is expected, several gTLDs wind up launching simultaneously.
And if the TMCH protocols prove to be too complex and costly for registrars to implement, many may not bother, potentially leading to a bunch of damp squib gTLD launches.
So it’s important stuff. DI may even be in attendance, hotel prices and/or Belgian vagrancy laws permitting.