Adapting to the new world of non-Latin domain names

Adapting to the new world of non-Latin domain names

Are we seeing the beginning of a new era of internationalised domain names? Emily Taylor, an internet specialist lawyer and consultant, examines the introduction of the first generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) to the internet’s root zone.

Now that applications for new gTLDs have closed, what are the next steps that an applicant for a gTLD will need to go through?

The gTLD application process has been such an ordeal in itself that getting through it feels like you've reached the finish line--unfortunately, you're actually just approaching the starting line.

It is now time to operationalise all the promises made in your application, and consider any public interest commitments made in the application process.

Many, but not all, applicants have outsourced the registry function to third parties and those that haven't tend to come from robust technical operations. For a minority, however, it's time to fire up the engine room on the technical and operational side.

For all, the most pressing deadline is the launch. This means asking a number of questions:

  • Are all the aspects of your sunrise period in place?
  • Are you conducting tests to ensure that the output from the trademark clearinghouse (signed marked data (SMD) files) contains the data you require to implement sunrise applications?
  • Have you got your policy for sunrise dispute resolution and a provider in place?
  • Are you offering any supplementary rights protection mechanisms? If so, are the policy, rules and providers in place? Have you thought about how to handle disputes or contention?
  • How are you going to handle Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) safeguard advice?
  • Did you make public interest commitments or otherwise enhance the promises you made in your original application? If so, check what you have committed to do, and put measures in place
  • If you have registration eligibility criteria, have you produced your written registration policies, and thought through how to handle disputes or queries arising from the eligibility criteria?
  • How do you plan to handle policy development on an ongoing basis? Do you have policy development

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