By Cyrus Namazi
Vice President, Domain Name Services
ICANN Global Domains Division
As reported earlier, Specification 13 to the Registry Agreement was approved by the NGPC on 26 March 2014. Specification 13 provides limited accommodations to registry operators of TLDs that qualify as “.Brand TLDs” and reflects months of discussions on many key issues raised by the community during the public comment forum and other community outreach.
One provision of this specification was the ability of a .Brand registry operator to designate up to three ICANN accredited registrars to serve as the exclusive registrars for their TLD. Implementation of this provision was delayed for 45 days in respect of the GNSO policy Recommendation 19 on the Introduction of New Generic Top-Level Domains. After considering the matter, the GNSO Council found that the proposed provision was inconsistent with Recommendation 19. However, given the unique and specific circumstances the GNSO Council accepted the variation from the original policy recommendation and did not object to the adoption of Specification 13 in its entirety.
As a result, all new gTLD applicants who have applied, or will apply, for Specification 13 and are qualified by ICANN as a .Brand TLD will be entitled to all the provisions of Specification 13.
Additionally, in the event that a .Brand applicant who qualifies for Specification 13 may require additional time for contracting, and satisfies the Applicant Guidebook requirements for an extension of their contracting window, ICANN will consider a request to approve an extension until 12 February 2015 (9 months from when Specification 13 was finalized in its entirety).
I thank the participating members of the community for their involvements and inputs and in particular the GNSO Council for its timely and constructive response in reaching this major milestone.