ICANN opened up a comment period yesterday to allow new gTLD registries to allocate the 100 domain names it is allowed to allocate to itself to other than trademark holders during sunrise under certain conditions.
The comment period closed on February 28th
“”Section 4.5.1 of the Trademark Clearinghouse Rights Protection Mechanism Requirements (the “TMCH Requirements”) contemplated the possibility, subject to ICANN‘s further review and analysis, that Registry Operators could offer a “Qualified Launch Program” in which they could register these domain names to third parties for the purposes of promoting their TLDs.
The Qualified Launch Program is intended to provide a mechanism for Registry Operators to register a limited number of names to third parties to promote their TLDs prior to the Sunrise period, while maintaining safeguards against intellectual property infringement.
The draft is being published for comment to gather additional input from interested stakeholders.
Having conducted a review and analysis regarding the feasibility of and implementation mechanics for a Qualified Launch Program as well as its potential impact on intellectual property rights, ICANN has developed the attached QLP Addendum.
If approved, the QLP Addendum will allow a Registry Operator to register some or all of the 100 domain names referenced in Section 3.2 of Specification 5 to third parties prior to the Sunrise Period for the TLD under certain conditions.
Under the proposed QLP Addendum, if a domain name under a Qualified Launch Program does not match a label registered in the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH), the domain name may be registered in a Qualified Launch Program to any third party.
On the other hand, if the domain name does match a label in the TMCH, the domain name may only be registered to a Sunrise-Eligible Rights Holder (as defined in the TMCH Requirements) in the Qualified Launch Program.
In the case of geographic TLDs, names may also be registered to public authorities under the Qualified Launch Program, subject to certain requirements. Each domain name registered in a Qualified Launch Program will reduce the number of domain names available to a Registry Operator under Section 3.2 of Specification 5.””