ICANN has finally finished evaluating all 1,930 new gTLD applications from the 2012 round.
Indian conglomerate Tata Group’s dot-brand .tata passed Extended Evaluation (pdf) on Friday, having apparently secured the non-objection of Morocco, which has a province of the same name.
Calculated from Reveal Day — June 13, 2012 — it’s taken a little over two years (765 days) for every bid to pass through first Initial Evaluation and then, if necessary, Extended Evaluation.
Calculated from the first batch of Initial Evaluation results being released, it’s 483 days.
A total of 1,783 applications passed IE. A further 38 failed, of which 35 passed EE. There have been 211 withdrawals so far and, due to contention, another 380 are expected.
ICANN has offered dot-brand gTLD applicants the ability to delay the signing of their Registry Agreements until July 29, 2015, nine months later than under the former process.
The extension was offered by ICANN after talks with the Brand Registry Group, whose members felt pressured by the old deadline.
All new gTLD applicants had previously been told they had nine months to sign the contract from the date they receive a so-called “Contracting Information Request” from ICANN.
For many applicants, those CIRs were sent out many months ago, leading to an October 29 deadline.
However, Specification 13 of the contract, which allows dot-brands to opt out of things like sunrise periods and equal treatment of registrars, was not finalized by ICANN until May 14 this year.
Only a minuscule number of dot-brands eligible to sign contracts — which is pretty much all of them — have so far opted to do so.
Bearing the Spec 13 delay in mind, ICANN is now offering would-be dot-brands the July 2015 deadline instead, as long as they show “good faith” by responding to their CIR by September 1.
What this means is that dot-brands might not be hitting the internet for another year.
For non-branded gTLD registries — some of whom hope the big brands’ adoption and marketing will help the visibility of new gTLDs in general — this may be disappointing.
ICANN has warned internet users about a domain name scam that exploits the ICANN name and logo.
Not giving away much information, ICANN said in a statement:
It has been brought to ICANN’s attention that some online entities have attempted to sell fraudulent “certificates”, which they claim are required to protect generic top-level domain names. The perpetuators of this scam threaten registrants on the protection service with the objective of securing a fee from the registrant. The “certificates” look official and include an unauthorized use of the ICANN logo.
Please note that ICANN does not issue certificates to registrants and does not collect fees from registrants directly.
It’s not clear whether the scam is related to the “ICANN certificates” fraudsters sometimes demand as part of domain appraisal scams, which have been well-documented online.
The reference to a “protection service” and new gTLDs suggest this might be something new.
I asked ICANN for a sample of the scam in question yesterday but haven’t heard back yet.
UPDATE: The certificates look like this:
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The concurrent sunrise periods of .moscow and .москва have unsurprisingly seen the Latin-script new gTLD trounce the Cyrillic version.
There were 154 registrations in .moscow, according to FAITID, the registry for both gTLDs, compared to just seven in .москва.
They’re both pretty low numbers, but they’re quite typical for new gTLDs. The .moscow number is actually a little above average.
And two of the IDN registrations appear to be for generic terms — мы.москва (“we.moscow”) and скачать.москва (“download.moscow”) — masquerading as trademarks, which happens a lot in new gTLDs.
There are many reasons why the Latin script beat the Cyrillic.
Sergey Gorbunov, head of international relations at FAITID, said that Russian holders of Cyrillic-script trademarks may not be very familiar with the Trademark Clearinghouse.
There are only 127 Cyrillic strings protected in the TMCH right now, he said. Non-Russian brands are also less likely to have their names protected in Cyrillic, he said.
Apple registered 11 Latin-script domains in the sunrise, according to Gorbunov, making it the biggest single registrant.
In what is possibly the longest launch phase of any new gTLD to date, there now follow two “Limited Registration Periods” for Russia and Moscow-based organizations, which end August 25.
A landrush period will kick off September 24 and FAITID expects to go to general availability on December 1.