According to a press release we received this morning, The Board of Directors of Top Level Domain Holdings (AIM:TLDH) issued an update to its new gTLD application with the biggest news out of the release is that it is withdrawing 4 of its new gTLD application
TLDH announced that is decided to withdraw its application for .Free; .Sale; .Spa; .Zulu.
Those withdrawals are not reflected on ICANN’s site.
“We are pleased to announce that the meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”), held in Beijing from April 11-14, is expected to be the last before contracts for new generic top-level domains (“gTLDs”) are formally signed.”
“No new roadblocks were brought up at the Beijing meeting, and the Board of TLDH is confident that the program will now move forward with progressively clearer timeframes for each gTLD’s release.”
“Neither ICANN’s Government Advisory Council (“GAC”) which delivered its official advice on individual strings in the program, nor the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (“SSAC”), which reported on any possible risks to the overall security and stability of the Internet, called for any delays. The ICANN roadmap strongly indicates that the Company should be launching its own first top-level domains early in Q4 2013.”
I”CANN has likewise announced that 132 applications have passed initial evaluation, including two applications from TLDH: .网址 (“web address” in Chinese) and .购物(“shopping” in Chinese).”
“ICANN is currently processing initial evaluations at the rate of about 50 per week, and has announced that it will ramp-up the rate of evaluations to 100 per week, based on which ICANN should be finished with initial evaluations by August 2013. ICANN also announced that it expects to start signing contracts by the end of May at the rate of approximately 20 per week.”
Fred Krueger, executive chairman of TLDH, commented:
“We are delighted by the progress being made by ICANN, the status of our portfolio and the progress we are making in relation to those applications which are in contention with other applications.”
The Board expects that some contentions will be resolved soon, although the majority are likely to be resolved closer to the commencement of ICANN-sponsored auctions, which will occur if applicants cannot resolve contentions on their own. ICANN has indicated its auctions will likely begin in November 2013.
gTLD portfolio update
The Board is also pleased to report that TLDH’s portfolio received relatively few third-party objections, all from rivals for the TLDs in question.
TLDH was notified that objections had been filed against only seven of its new gTLD applications, representing 9.7% of the Company’s portfolio: two objections for .music and one each for .购物 (“shopping” in Chinese), .gay, .eco, .home, .vip, and .realestate.
By comparison, Amazon received 24 objections (32%), Google 22 objections (22%) and Donuts 55 objections (18%). The Company will respond in due course and the Board are confident that the Company will overcome these objections.
The GAC strongly advised against four gTLDs, none of which TLDH applied for.
Another 513 gTLDs were given some kind of advice by the GAC, ranging from serious reservations to desired improvements.
The Company has decided as a consequence of these warnings, and after discussion with relevant governments, to withdraw four of its applications:
.FREE, .SALE, .SPA and .ZULU.
The Company expects to receive refunds totaling $520,000 (£341,304) from ICANN, and to have released to it $144,000 (£94,515) currently set aside in letters of credit for ICANN’s Continued Operations Instrument requirement.
The Board anticipates that over a hundred new gTLDs will have signed contracts with ICANN by the time of the next ICANN meeting in Durban, South Africa, commencing 15 July 2013. Following the execution of its contract with ICANN, each gTLD will schedule its pre-delegation testing as a final technical check, then proceed to delegation, integration with the Trademark Clearing House, and then launch. The Company estimates that the time from contract to launch will be approximately 3 months. TLDH’s operating company, Minds + Machines, is now focused on the upcoming launches of .LONDON, .BUDAPEST, .NRW, .GOP and .KIWI. The Company is also actively pursuing arrangements with other applicants for new gTLDs.
TLDH gTLD Application Status
|String||Priority Draw Number||Group equity interest||# of competing applications||GAC objections/Early warnings||Third party objections|
|home||215||100%||more than 2||Yes|
|love||262||100%||more than 2|
|book||291||100%||more than 2|
|llc||335||100%||more than 2|
|blog||358||100%||more than 2|
|cpa||403||100%||more than 2|
|law||453||100%||more than 2|
|flowers||481||100%||more than 2|
|tickets||485||client||more than 2|
|fashion||516||100%||more than 2|
|cloud||536||100%||more than 2|
|pizza||595||100%||more than 2|
|green||640||100%||more than 2|
|style||669||100%||more than 2|
|vip||683||100%||more than 2||Yes|
|store||690||100%||more than 2|
|music||749||50%||more than 2||Yes|
|baby||872||100%||more than 2|
|sale||903||100%||more than 2||Yes|
|app||918||100%||more than 2|
|immo||960||100%||more than 2|
|realestate||1044||100%||more than 2||Yes|
|free||1048||100%||more than 2||Yes|
|radio||1087||client||more than 2|
|design||1128||100%||more than 2|
|inc||1136||100%||more than 2|
|group||1159||client||more than 2|
|hotel||1215||100%||more than 2|
|site||1367||100%||more than 2|
|restaurant||1423||100%||more than 2|
|gay||1428||100%||more than 2||Yes|
|video||1466||100%||more than 2|
|eco||1475||100%||more than 2||Yes|
|art||1523||100%||more than 2|
|online||1602||client||more than 2|
|tech||1623||100%||more than 2|
|casino||1630||client||more than 2|
|poker||1638||client||more than 2|
|soccer||1708||100%||more than 2|
|school||1720||100%||more than 2|