New Strings: ICANN published its latest requirements for the rights protection mechanism

business-dreyfus-81-150x150This final version reflects significant changes.

To reach this result, ICANN based its recommendations on stakeholder input received during the ICANN meeting in Beijing in April, comments provided by various individuals and stakeholder groups in May and June, and also the discussions during the ICANN meeting in Durban in July.

The Agreement between the Registries and ICANN means that the Registry Operator of the new extension has to integrate in the registry-registrar Agreement all ICANN warrants and all mechanism of rights protection independently developed. Thus, the Registry has to consider each requirement – in accordance with the ICANN established requirements – as imperative and immediately applicable.

These final recommendations provide some novelties.


The change provided to the Sunrise period

The Sunrise period designates the priority period for the new strings launch. During this period, a priority record process will be implemented. It allows a brand owner a priority to register domain names reproducing its trademarks. This procedure is mandatory for new Registry Operators.

The Sunrise period also includes the priority process for conflict resolution.

The main difference introduced by ICANN in this publication is the creation of an “End-Date Sunrise”. The Registries will have to choose between:

  • A “Start-Date Sunrise”. It allows the Registry to allocate domain names before the end of the Sunrise. If a Registry wants to do this, it must provide advance notice of the starting date for the Sunrise period, at least 30 days prior to opening up to public registration.
  • An “End-Date Sunrise”. The Registry can’t allocate any claimed domains until the end of the Sunrise. In this case the Sunrise may start at any time but the Registry must provide advance notice of the end of the Sunrise and that at least 60 days before to opening up to public registration.

Given the planned waiting period to avoid name Collision after a registry agreement is signed, most of the Registries would probably choose an “End-Date Sunrise”.


The changes provided to the Claims Service

Registry Operators must provide the Claims Services for at least the first 90 days of the initial public registration instead of the 60 days as before. The Sunrise Period and the Claims Period must be two distinct phases and must not overlap.


The creation of another Registration Period

Registry Operators will have the possibility of establishing additional periods during which they will accept domain name registrations following the Sunrise Period but prior to opening up to public registrations (a “Limited Registration Period”). The Sunrise Period and a Limited Registration Period can overlap, provided that Registry Operator does not allocate or register any domain names in a Limited Registration Period until all Sunrise Registrations have been allocated and registered.

If a Registry Operator offers a Limited Registration Period, the Registry Operator must provide the Claims Services during the entire Limited Registration Period in addition to the standard 90 days Claims Period.


The possibility to register 100 domain names

ICANN also points out that each Registry Operator would have the possibility to allocate or register for itself up to 100 domain names plus their IDN variants.

ICANN is considering the signature of an addendum to the Trademarks Clearinghouse (TMCH) Requirements which would allow Registry Operators to allocate or register prior or during the Sunrise some or all of the 100 domain names, to third parties.


It remains to be seen if these requirements will be followed…