ICANN gave many in the industry cause for celebration on Friday when it released its first batch of 27 new gTLD applications that have passed Initial Evaluation.
The plan is to release 30 per week, ramping up to 100 at some point in future, but three applications in the first 30 still have change requests or clarifying questions being processed.
Here are some interesting bits of information we’ve gleaned from the first batch.
Donuts has passed its background checks
Donuts has had the first of its new gTLD applications approved. This means that the evaluation team doing background screening found no reason to be fail the company due to its executives’ track records.
During the public comment period last year, Donuts’ opponents said the company should be barred from getting any new gTLDs because of its close ties to Demand Media, a company with a record of adverse UDRP decisions.
It was also claimed that a Donuts director was involved in cybersquatting the Olympic and Disney brands, but it turned out the director in question had left the company in late 2011.
But ICANN’s evaluation team appears to have given Donuts the all clear.
The Donuts application that has passed Initial Evaluation, for .商店 (shop/store), is one of 199 applications, each filed by unique corporate shells, that share a parent, Dozen Donuts LLC.
The balance of Donuts’ applying companies are owned by Covered TLD LLC, believed to be its joint venture with Demand Media. All 307 are signed up to use Demand Media’s registry back-end.
Seven IDN scripts passed IE
New gTLDs in seven internationalized domain name scripts — Chinese, Arabic, Japanese, Hindi, Korean, German, Cyrillic — have passed through Initial Evaluation.
Transliterations of .com/.net are apparently fine
Some of Verisign’s applications for transliterations of .com and .net in scripts such as Chinese and Hindi have passed IE, meaning the evaluators weren’t worried about possible clashes with their legacy equivalents.
There’s been some concern from some parts of the world that because the applied-for strings are meaningless in the relevant languages, but sound like “com” and “net” when spoken, that it could cause confusion.
New back-end providers have cause for celebration
While there was little doubt that back-end providers Verisign, Neustar, Afilias and CORE would receive passing grades by ICANN — they all run gTLDs already — new market entrants did not have reasons for the same confidence.
However, ARI Registry Services, Demand Media, CentralNIC, KISA, KSRegistry and KNET are all named back-ends for passing applications in the first batch.
This should come as a cause for celebration for these companies, and a relief for their clients.
Because many applications used the same boilerplate back-end text, there’s good reason to believe that other bids using these registry providers are likely to pass the technical portion of Initial Evaluation too.
Afilias doesn’t have any passes yet
Top-three player Afilias, so far, does not have any passing apps.
One of its clients is at position #7 in the priority queue, but it’s one of the three applications in the top 30 to be still chasing follow-up questions or change requests with ICANN.
Probably nothing to worry about here.