The Big Reveal – ICANN Announces List of new gTLD applicants and applications

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) posted the list of new gTLD applicants and applications today.  ICANN received a total of 1,930 new gTLD applications.

Many companies such as Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Wal-Mart filed applications.  Among the Canadian applicants are Rogers (for .FIDO and .CHATR), Shaw Cablesystems (for Shaw) and the registrar Tucows (for .GROUP, .MARKETING, .MEDIA and .ONLINE).

The applications will now be evaluated by the expert panels selected by ICANN and the initial results are expected to be released in December 2012 or January 2013.  There will be a testing phase for the new domains that are approved and ICANN expects that new domains will not go live until mid-2013.

Today also marks the opening of a 60-day comment period, during which anyone may submit comments on any application for the evaluation panels to consider.  As well, if anyone believes they have grounds to formally object to an application, there is a seven month period during which they may file an objection.

Trade-mark and business owners should review the list of new gTLD applications to consider if they want to submit comments or file an objection during the period for doing so. 

Trade-mark owners should also monitor the status of the Trademark Clearinghouse services.  The Trademark Clearinghouse will serve as a repository for information regarding trademarks to be authenticated and validated by the service provider selected by ICANN – Deloitte Enterprise Risk Services.  All new gTLD registries will be required to use data from the Clearinghouse to ensure that trademark rights protection mechanisms are implemented during a new gTLD start-up period.

All in all, this marks a historic day for the domain name landscape and the beginning of some very interesting and challenging times.

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CIRA Announces .CA Registry Upgrade and 24 hour service outage

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) announced that it will be performing a  system update to its .CA registry on June 12, 2012.   In order to complete the upgrade, there will be a 24 hour service outage from 9 a.m. (ET) on June 12 to 9:00 a.m. (ET) on June 13. 

During the service outage, the following Registrant transactions will be impacted:

  • Registrants will not be able to submit new .CA domain registrations
  • Registrants will not be able to approve the CIRA Registrant Agreement
  • Registrants will not be able to update or renew existing .CA domain names
  • WHOIS will not be accessible during the service outage
  • Domain names in the Add Grace Period or the Redemption Grace Period scheduled to expire during the service outage will be extended by 24 hours

CIRA advises that full Registrant transactions are scheduled to return at 9:00 a.m.  (ET) on June 13, 2012.

RIM Wins Right To Continue Using BBM Trademark

Research in Motion Ltd. received some good news late last week, in the form of a Federal Court of Canada ruling that allows it to keep the BBM trademark for its popular messenger service.  BBM Canada, a Canadian television and radio research firm  that has been using the BBM mark for 60 years, commenced infringement proceedings on the basis that RIM’s use of the BBM mark  confused the public.  The Court disagreed, ruling that RIM’s use of the mark could peacefully co-exist with BBM’s use, which the Court said extended only to the field of broadcast measurement services.  News reports on the decisions suggest that BBM will appeal the decision.