Google’s Charleston Road Registry reached 2,300 .みんな domain names on the new gTLD’s first day of general availability, immediately making it the biggest IDN gTLD by volume so far.
The string is Japanese for “everyone”. As you might expect, it’s an unrestricted space.
About 230 names — 10% of the TLD — are non-IDNs. I believe the number also includes some sunrise registrations.
It actually went into GA on Tuesday, but data was not available yesterday.
While it’s not in the same ballpark as the likes of .guru, it nevertheless overtook the only other IDN gTLD to launch so far, dotShabaka’s شبكة. (Arabic for “web”), which has 1,643 names.
Google sold the names via 17 accredited registrars, only one of which appears to be Japanese. The list excludes most of the biggest registrars.
.みんな is unusual in that Google intends to run its Trademark Claims service forever, rather than turning it off after the 90 days required by its Registry Agreement with ICANN.
ICANN has hired itself a new C-level executive.
Ashwin Rangan started today as chief innovation and information officer, meaning he’s going to be in charge of ICANN’s oft-criticized IT systems.
He most recently held the CIO role at Edwards Lifesciences, but he’s also held similar positions at MarketShare, Walmart, and Rockwell Semiconductors.
He’s based in ICANN’s Los Angeles headquarters, which the organization is now referring to as a “hub” office.
In keeping with ICANN’s international flavor (and hiring policy), he speaks three Indian languages in addition to English.
Interestingly, his LinkedIn URL is /theinsightfulcio, showing he understands the value of a decent web address, even if it is after the slash. I didn’t even know LinkedIn did vanity URLs.
Afilias won the auction for the .green new gTLD, it emerged today.
Rightside withdrew its application for the string in the last few days, according to the ICANN web site, leaving Afilias the only remaining applicant in the four-way contention set.
Top Level Domain Holdings said last week that it had lost a private auction with Afilias and Rightside. The fourth applicant, Dot Green, withdrew last year citing the likely cost of an auction.
It’s not known how much Afilias paid in the auction, but it’s likely to have been in the millions.
Just four weeks after the first new gTLDs went into general availability, the Trademark Clearinghouse has already sent out over 17,500 Trademark Claims notices to trademark owners.
A Claims notice is a warning that is generated whenever somebody registers a domain name that exactly matches a trademark listed in the TMCH’s database.
The 17,500 number refers to post-registration notices sent to trademark owners, not pre-registration warnings delivered to would-be registrants.
Considering that there are somewhere in the region of 180,000 domain names in new gTLDs today, 17,500 represents a surprisingly high percentage of the market (high single figures).
Of course, not all of these will be due to cybersquatting attempts.
There are plenty of marks in the TMCH that are acronyms or dictionary words, either because they match a genuine brand or because somebody obtained trademarks on generic terms in order to game sunrise periods.
I’d count those as false positives, personally, but it’s impossible to know without access to TMCH data how many of the 17,500 alerts delivered to date can be accounted for in that way.
There are 26,802 marks in the TMCH, according to the company.
With dozens of new gTLDs currently live and on sale, it’s easy to forget that many applicants are still in ICANN limbo due to several still-unresolved issues with the evaluation process.
The New gTLD Applicant Group wrote to ICANN on Friday to express many of these concerns.
First, NTAG is upset that resolution of the name collisions issue is not moving as fast as hoped.
JAS Advisors published its report into collisions, which recommends “controlled interruption” as a solution, last Thursday. But it’s currently open for public comment until April 21.
That would push approval of the plan by ICANN’s board beyond the Singapore meeting taking place at the end of March, at least a month later than originally expected.
NTAG secretary Andrew Merriam argues that the 42-day comment period should be reduced to 21 days, with ICANN and JAS conducting webinars this week to discuss the proposal with applicants.
Second, NTAG is upset that ICANN has pushed out the start date for the first contention set auctions from March to June. It’s asking ICANN to promise that there will be no further delays.
Third, NTAG says that many dot-brands are unable to enter into contracting talks with ICANN until Specification 13 of the Registry Agreement, which contains opt-outs for single-registrant zones, is finalized.
That’s not currently expected to happen until Singapore, apparently because there were no scheduled meetings of the ICANN board’s New gTLD Program Committee until then.
NTAG also complains about the length of time it’s taking to decide the first Community Priority Evaluations, which is apparently due to quality assurance measures (very wise given the controversy caused by the lack of oversight on new gTLD objections, if you ask me).
The NGPC has a newly scheduled meeting this Wednesday, with new gTLDs on the agenda, but it’s not yet clear whether any of NTAG’s issues are going to be addressed.