ICANN Offers Full Refund To Any Applicant For A New gTLD Which Pulls Its App Before The Big Reveal

In an Announcement tonight, ICANN is offering to refund any applicant who has submitted and paid its fee for a new gTLD if they pull their application prior to the Big Reveal.

“”In recognition of the inconvenience caused by the temporary suspension of the TLD application system, ICANN will provide a full refund of the application fees paid by any new gTLD applicant that wishes to withdraw its application prior to publication of the list of applied-for new top-level domain names.”

“A resolution authorizing full refunds was adopted during a Board of Directors workshop in Amsterdam on Sunday, May 6th 2012.”

Here is the resolution:

“Whereas, the TLD Application System (TAS) has been offline since 12 April 2012 due to a technical glitch and the application window will not be closed until TAS reopens for a period of at least five days.

“Whereas, ICANN recognizes that, during the pendency of the glitch, applicants may have re-evaluated decisions to participate in the New gTLD Program.

Whereas, the Applicant Guidebook at Section 1.5.1 sets out a tiered refund schedule in the event that an applicant wishes to withdraw its application.

Resolved (2012.05.06.NG01), the New gTLD Program Committee directs the CEO to offer to applicants a full refund of the New gTLD Application fee actually paid to ICANN if the applicant wishes to withdraw its application prior to the date that ICANN publicly posts the identification of all TLD applications.”

Here is what the announcement did not say:

1.  Whether all applicants effected by the “glitch” have been so notified as promised by ICANN on or before May 8th.

2.  When the TAS will be back up.

3. When ICANN is planning on posting the “identification of all TLD applications.”

ICANN had previously promised to complete notifying the effected applicants “on or before Tuesday, May 8th”. (as I write this post it is midnight EST May 8th)

As an attorney, I  do think its a pretty smart move by ICANN to head off lawsuits by allowing companies to pull their application and get a full refund, although as an attorney I would have liked the announcement better had ICANN clearly stated the date its planning on posting all the applicants information thereby setting a final date for requesting a refund.

Without such an announced date any date 5 days after the TAS system re-opens would be a possible date for ICANN to post the information, thereby closing the refund window.


  1. says

    This was a smart move by ICANN to offer people the option to withdraw their application and to get a full refund before the big reveal, those who continue to stay in the game at this point will be with the understanding that they are willing to take a risk voluntarily in order to try their chances at getting their desired gTLD, and if their application is not approved they won’t be able to claim any losses. Although I don’t think that anyone is going to ask for a refund at this time, because they are either applying for their brand or City TLD and feel very good about their chances of getting approved or that they are applying for generic keyword TLDs which they knew it was a long shot from the beginning, but they still applied just to have some leverage later on and I doubt that anyone of these people want to give up the spot that they already have in the system, because it might take a long time before they can apply again. (just my opinion)

  2. Ron says

    Not every application is unique .game .web etc… there are many duplicates, not sure how they get settled.

  3. a says

    if and when icann gets sued, it will be for much more than a lost application fee. that’s petty cash to the trademark lobby.

    but this move does seem to prove that some applicants have absolutely zero chance of being approved. icann is saying “last chance to change your mind”. is the game rigged? nah. look at how they handled the .org selection process. these guys are honest. everyone stands a fair chance.

  4. says

    The U.S. Federal Trade Commission sent ICANN a 15 page Letter.
    As Bernie Madoff said: “Everyone should have known”

    The U.S. SEC is now in the picture. Why ?

    Apparently, Brokers, Dealers, Advisors, etc. have set themselves up as ICANN TAS Experts

    Apparently, they raised millions claiming to have expert TAS skills.
    They sold what amounts to stock. As an example, $185 per share and 1000

    Apparently, they NEVER paid ICANN (or now can get a refund)
    Will the shareholders be given a refund ? Will they be told the truth ?

    Note: ICANN has reported that there are 200 “Applicants” that have not paid in full.

    What happens if a party contacts ICANN (now) claiming to be Applicants that ICANN has never heard of ? What happens if that party claims (falsely?) that
    some prominent TAS Expert took their money ? Does ICANN investigate ?
    Does that impact the TAS Expert’s other Applications ?

    Did ICANN Accredit TAS Experts? or did people just claim they were experts?

  5. says

    The ICANN TAS problem is turning into such a pleasant dinner topic 😀 I wonder how many times will ICANN drop the ball before the new TLD’s finally launch…

  6. says

    For those that did not believe that ICANN would weed out the undesirable Applicants (outsiders)

    1. Anyone could step up and pay $5000
    2. Anyone could select .INC
    3. Anyone could then pay $180,000
    4. Applicants could then see (or hear) about all of the big players going for .INC
    5. ICANN then allows anyone a full refund to GO AWAY (Has anyone seen the documents one has to sign to get that refund?)

    The stage is then set for the Secret .INC meeting of the Applicants that remain in the ICANN.Poker.Game. WOW only 3 players at the table ?

    …and those 3 players for .INC have miraculously decided to work together on .INC :-)

    …and those 3 players decide to call themselves IS, RS, DS (Read the NSF history on how .COM .NET .ORG were launched with 3 companies cooperating)

    What happened to the other Applicants ? They get a T-Shirt
    Thanks for playing

  7. says

    New ICANN CEO Now Attending Secret Meetings

    The delays and refunds are apparently aimed at allowing the existing CEO to make a fast EXIT. He has substantial personal assets that could become more at risk.
    [Past ICANN executives and Board members now claim no accountability for their decisions]

    The new ICANN CEO is expected to carry out the (secret) plan to move ICANN away from US scrutiny. If the tides change and the IANA contract continues to matter, then a new CEO may have to be selected from the Washington DC club.

    The current NEW CEO who is apparently attending meetings may also decide not to accept the position, or ask for more compensation, bonuses and/or perks.

  8. John Y. says

    @ Ron
    Not every application is unique .game .web etc… there are many duplicates, not sure how they get settled.
    If there are 2 or more applicants for the same new TLDs … there will be Auctions run to determine the “winner”…. IMO In most scenarios this will be a fair & logical process…,However, not in all cases, because the applicants with the deepest pockets or fundraising capability will have a big edge…and in some of those cases such parties will not neccessarily be the most qualified or adept at running a domain registry with adequate proficiency or integrity.

    In the past ICANN would award registry privileges such as .NET and .ORG on a “comparative analysis” basis…almost akin to how the the winner of the Miss Universe Pagent is “chosen” or “judged” …. however, this is certainly not a perfect system either…. sometimes politics & cronyism seems to enter into the arena.

  9. Michael H. Berkens says


    Correct, however many applicants will be wheeling and dealing trying to avoid auctions that could run into the 7 and 8 figures all of which will go to ICANN and non of which will go to promote or help the extension

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