IP Cases & Articles

ICANN Postpones Closure of New gTLD Application Window

The deadline for new Generic Top-Level Domains (gTLD’s) applications has now been postponed until Friday, 20 April 2012.

The extension of the period, which was due to run until 12 April 2012, comes as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) learnt of a 'possible glitch' in the system software used by applicants. In an update on its website ICANN said the glitch “allowed a limited number of users to view some other users' file names and user names in certain scenarios” and “out of an abundance of caution, we took the system offline to protect applicant data. We are examining how this issue occurred and considering appropriate steps forward”.

As was widely anticipated, there appears to have been a very large amount of interest in new gTLDs. On 25 March the number of registered users in the online TLD Application System (TAS) stood at 839. However, this number does not represent the total number of applications since each registrant can apply for up to 50 new generic top-level domains. It is likely that many applicants have applied for more than one gTLD and in some cases, several.

ICANN planned to publish application details on 30th April. However, this date may also be postponed as a result of the glitch. ICANN has already said that the date is not set in stone and may be delayed if an overwhelming number of applications are received.

When the application details are released, the public will be able to be able to access key information on all applicants, the gTLDs applied for and the current status of the applications in the evaluation process, including any objections that have been received. The public will then be able to submit any comments on applications for consideration by the evaluation panels within a 60-day window.

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