TLDH Applications Update
· 22 of the 92 applications made by the Group or its clients were uncontested by any another applicant
· 11 wholly-owned applications in contention with one other application only
· 12 wholly-owned applications in contention with two other applications
· ICANN’s final decision on the proposed batching programme and selection process to be announced at the end of this month
Yesterday ICANN revealed the identities of all the applications that had been made for new generic top-level domains. The Directors of Top Level Domain Holdings (the “Group”) are delighted to announce that 22 of the 92 applications made by the Group for itself or for clients were uncontested by any another applicant. The Group applied for the third-largest number of applications, after Donuts, Inc. and Google.
Peter Dengate Thrush, the Company’s Chairman, commented:
We are delighted to be one of the major participants in the gTLD application process and are excited that we can now finally commence the set-up and pre-launch activity on our non-contested gTLDs, which include geographic applications representing an aggregate population of over 40 million.
We will vigorously pursue our other own applications – and those of our clients – where we believe the greatest value can be achieved for the Group and if appropriate, initiating discussions with competing applicants to avoid unnecessary auctions.
The applications made by the Group on behalf of itself and its clients and which were uncontested are set out in Table 1.
The applications made by the Group on behalf of itself and its clients and which were contested by one or two competing applicants are set out in Table 2.
In respect of the remainder of the Group’s applications there were between 3 and 12 competing applications at this stage.
Applications that are in so-called “contention sets” because they have applied for strings identical or similar to others are being encouraged by ICANN to work out solutions among themselves to avoid having to enter into auctions. Some applications that do not exactly match other applications may nonethless be placed into contention sets by ICANN evaluators based on their judgment that the strings applied for are likely to cause confusion.
A 60-day comment period has now opened during which informal objections can be made by any internet user in relation to a proposed new domain at no cost. Concurrently, a formal objection period has opened for parties who believe their rights may be infringed by applications and can make formal “objections” to applications at a cost of $10,000 an objection. The formal objection period is expected to remain open for seven months. On 12 July 2012, ICANN plans to begin its independent review process which it expects will run for six to seven months. ICANN then anticipates the approval of the first new domains in the first quarter of 2012.
ICANN has not yet concluded definitively whether to progress with its proposed batching programme whereby applications will be grouped into batches of 500 for review and the proposed allocation process by which applications will be allocated to specific batches.
An update is expected to be provided by ICANN on its proposed batching programme at its next meeting in Prague (June 24-29) after which the Company will provide a further update. If no changes are made to the batching process, the Company expects the results of the batching exercise to be announced on or around 11 July 2012.
The full list of gTLD applications received by ICANN, along with information about the applicants, is available here.
gTLD: generic top-level domain
ICANN: Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
For further information, please contact:
Top Level Domain Holdings Limited
Antony Van Couvering
Tel: +1 917 406 7126
Beaumont Cornish Limited (Nomad)
Tel +44 (0) 20 7628 3396
XCAP Securities plc (Joint Broker)
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3216 2661/2667
Daniel Stewart & Company plc (Joint Broker)
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7776 6550
gth media relations
Toby Hall/Suzanne Johnson Walsh
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3103 3903/2
About Top Level Domain Holdings Limited
Top Level Domain Holdings is a publicly-traded holding company listed on the London AIM market. The company is focused on the new top-level domain space. Top-level domains, such as .com, run by VeriSign (NASDAQ: VRSN), and .biz, run by NeuStar (NYSE: NSR), are regulated by ICANN. ICANN has announced plans to expand the number of top-level domains. TLDH intends to make targeted investments in this space, focusing on both infrastructure technologies and specific top-level domains.
About Minds + Machines
Minds + Machines is a registry services provider that works internationally with commercial organisations, cities, not-for-profits, and entrepreneurs to secure and operate new web domains, known as top-level domains (TLDs). Minds and Machines Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Top Level Domains Holdings Limited.