The new generic top-level domain (gTLD) application period is open. Now what?
Regardless of whether your company intends to pursue registration of a new gTLD, there are some important deadlines to keep in mind throughout 2012.
March 29: Pre-Application Deadline
Before you are even eligible to apply for a gTLD, you must first register through the online TLD Application System (TAS), located here. You must complete the TAS User Registration and submit a $5,000 deposit on or before March 29, 2012.
April 12: Application Deadline
You must submit your entire gTLD application through TAS, including all evaluation fees, on or before April 12, 2012.
May 1: The Big Reveal
On May 1, 2012, ICANN will post the public portions of gTLD applications, including applied-for character strings and applicant information.
June 12: Initial Evaluation Begins
During the Initial Evaluation period, independent panels will examine the gTLD applications for issues with either the gTLD character strings or the applicants themselves.
June 30: Comment Period Closes
After the gTLD applications are publicly revealed, you may file informal comments to voice concern regarding any of the new gTLD applications. These comments will be considered during the Initial Evaluation period. You must submit your comments on or before June 30, 2012.
November 12: Initial Evaluation Results Posted
ICANN will post the results of the Initial Evaluations on November 12, 2012, indicating whether applications have passed or failed evaluation.
November 29: Extended Evaluation Request Deadline
If your application fails the Initial Evaluation, you may request an Extended Evaluation on or before November 29, 2012.
December 1: Formal Objection Period Closes
ICANN has stated that you have “approximately” seven months to file a formal objection to any of the new gTLD applications. The deadline will likely be December 1, 2012. In order to file a formal objection, you must have grounds to do so. For more information on the formal objection process, please see ICANN’s Objection and Dispute Resolution Fact Sheet, located here.
The first batch of new gTLDs is expected to be up and running sometime in early 2013. It should be an interesting year!
Please keep in mind that the above-referenced deadlines are based on ICANN estimates, and circumstances may require an adjustment to the deadlines. We will continue to provide updates as the new gTLD rollout moves forward. For up-to-date information on the new gTLDs, please visit www.fr.com/domain-names.