Domain name drop-catcher Pool.com hopes to make a quick buck out of ICANN’s new generic top-level domain application batching process.
The company has announced a Digital Archery Engine service, which it says could help new gTLD applicants get their applications near the top of the evaluation queue.
It’s based on Pool’s experience catching expiring names to auction, and ICANN’s controversial “digital archery” method of allocating applications into batches for processing.
Getting into the first batch of 500 applications is expected to knock at least five months off the wait time for new gTLD approval, delegation and launch. For many applicants, this time-to-market advantage is important.
But it’s not cheap. If Pool gets your application into the first batch it will set you back $25,000. If you’re in the top 50% of applications, the price tag is $10,000. Anything slower is free.
ICANN has threatened to terminate Chinese domain name registrar eName Technology after the domain 1111.com was allegedly hijacked.
According to ICANN’s notice of breach (pdf), eName has refused to hand over data documenting the transfer of 1111.com as required by the Registrar Accreditation Agreement.
ICANN claims that when it tried to get eName’s help investigating a hijacking complaint, the company did not return its calls or emails.
The registrar now has 15 days to provide the transfer records as called for by the Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy.
According to historical Whois records, 1111.com was transferred to eName between February 12 and 16 this year. After a complaint, ICANN started chasing eName for the data on February 28.
The domain appears to have been owned by at least four different parties and three different registrars – Network Solutions, then Joker, then eName – since the start of 2012.
It’s the second time that ICANN has sent a breach notice to a registrar over an alleged mishandling of a domain name hijacking, and the first time it’s actually named the domain in question.
In February, the organization threatened Turkish registrar Alantron with the suspension of its contract over the botched handling of pricewire.com.
Planet.eco, an emergent .eco gTLD applicant with a trademark on “.eco” is suing two rival applicants for trademark infringement and cybersquatting in a California court.
The company sued DotEco (affiliated with Minds + Machines and Top Level Domain Holdings), along with CEO Fred Krueger, and Canada-based Big Room on March 2.
It’s looking for millions of dollars of damages and an injunction preventing both rival applicants from applying for .eco.
In late March, DotEco filed a counter-suit, alleging that Planet.eco’s .eco trademark was fraudulently obtained and that the company is trying to illegally stifle competition for the .eco gTLD.
That’s the short version. It’s a complex story with a great deal of history and more than a little bogus behavior.
(Thanks to reader Tom Gilles for the tip)
Google will apply for several new generic top-level domains, according to a report in AdAge.
The company will apply for some dot-brands, and possibly some keywords, the report indicated.
“We plan to apply for Google’s trademarked TLDs, as well as a handful of new ones,” the spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.
AdAge speculates that .google and .youtube would be among the applications, which seems like a fair assumption.
The revelation comes despite the fact that Google engineers recently stated that there would be no guaranteed search engine optimization benefits from owning a gTLD.
However, I wouldn’t be surprised if keywords representing some of Google’s services, such as .search and .blog, are also among its targets.
The total cost to Google is likely to run into millions in ICANN application fees alone.
It will also be interesting to see which registry provider — if any — Google has selected to run its back-end.
Google is one of the few companies out there that could scratch-build its own registry infrastructure without breaking a sweat.
The AdAge report also quotes Facebook and Pepsi executives saying they will not apply.
American secretaries of state will object to new gTLD applications for .inc, .corp, .llc and .llp unless they are restricted, the National Association of Secretaries of State has told ICANN.
In a March 30 letter, NASS president Beth Chapman wrote:
While we have concerns about the use of these extensions, if ICANN considers approving these extensions, our members respectfully request that they be approved with restrictions that would attempt to protect legitimate businesses and consumers from confusion or fraud.
The members of NASS believe these extension identifiers (.INC, .LLC, .CORP, .LLP) should only be extended to entities that are also legally and appropriately registered with the Secretaries of State, or the equivalent state agency. The entity purchasing a new domain name should be the same entity registered with a Secretary of State or equivalent state agency.
The sentiment was a repeat of views expressed in a March 20 letter from Jeffrey Bullock, secretary of state of corporation-friendly Delaware.
Bullock said that Delaware “would object to the granting of such strings without restrictions”.
Neither letter acknowledges that the corporate suffixes Inc, Corp and LLP are also used elsewhere in the world.
Both letters refer to DOT Registry, a start-up with plans to apply to ICANN for .inc, .corp and .llc.
DOT Registry plans to put restrictions in place to ensure only registered companies can register domains, Bullock wrote.
I’m not familiar with DOT Registry’s plans, but in general I’m not keen on this type of gTLD string. They strike me as pointless, more likely to create defensive registration revenue than any benefit.