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Unsponsored TLD Agreement: Appendix J (.info)

(11 May 2001)


Registration Start-Up Plan

1. LOGICAL QUEUE SYSTEM

Submission of registrations:

On the respective dates on which Registry Operator begins processing registrations in the Sunrise and Land Rush Periods (each a "Start Date"), the .info registry (the "Registry") will enable authorized ICANN-Accredited Registrars (each, an "Authorized Registrar") to submit their registrations into individual logical queue databases. The order of the domain name requests in each Authorized Registrar queue will then be randomized at the Registry.

Processing of queued registrations:

Registry Operator will process domain name requests using a round robin mechanism such that no more than one registration request per round will be processed for any Authorized Registrar, whether such registration request is accepted or not, so long as more than one Authorized Registrar has requests remaining in its logical queue. A domain name request will be considered successful if: (i) the domain name is available and (ii) the Authorized Registrar has in place a mechanism to pay the registration fees for such registration, as described in its Registry-Registrar Agreement with Registry Operator. This round robin process will continue until all domain name requests in each individual logical queue have been processed.

No real time registrations will be processed during the round robin rotation, so, while these initial logical queues are processed, Authorized Registrars will be submitting new registrations to new individual database logical queues. Once the initial logical queues have been processed, the Registry will begin processing the next logical queues and the process will repeat according to the schedule described in the next section.

Projected schedules for rounds of registrations:

Registry Operator expects there to be 5 rotations of its round robin registration system for the Sunrise and Land Rush Periods, as follows (the number of days specified for processing and monitoring are maximum periods):

First Rotation: The submission period for the first rotation is scheduled to last 7 days. At the end of 7 days, the individual logical queues will be randomized as described above. After the queues are randomized, the Registry will begin processing registrations. This processing is estimated to last 3 days (1 day for processing and 2 days for technical monitoring of the system).

Second Rotation: During the 3 day processing period for the first set of logical queues, Authorized Registrars will submit additional registration requests to their individual logical queues. After the third day, Registry Operator will randomize and process the queues as described above. The processing of the second set of logical queues is estimated to last 2 days (1 day for processing and 1 day for technical monitoring of the system).

Third Rotation: While the second set of logical queues are being processed, Authorized Registrars may submit additional registration requests to their individual logical queues, and these requests will be processed in the same manner as the first and second queues. The processing of the third set of logical queues is estimated to last 2 days (1 day for processing and 1 day for technical monitoring of the system).

Fourth and Fifth Rotation: The fourth and fifth sets of logical queues will be collected and processed in the same manner as the third set of logical queues.

After the fifth set of logical queues has been processed, Registry Operator anticipates that the volume of registration requests will allow the Registry to move to a real-time registration process. Registry Operator reserves the right, in its reasonable discretion to implement additional rotations after the fifth rotation as a result of greater than anticipated volume.

Once the Registry begins to process the final set of logical queues, Registry Operator will not accept additional registration requests for two days. After such two days, when the final set of logical queues has been processed, Registry Operator will commence processing registrations in real time as described in Section 4 of this Appendix.

Once real-time registration processing begins, Registry Operator will implement a policy under which Authorized Registrars may, at their discretion, cancel a domain name registration they submitted any time within five days after the registration was submitted to Registry Operator. During both the Sunrise and Land Rush Periods, however, this discretionary cancellation policy will not apply.

2. OPERATIONAL TEST & EVALUATION

Before ICANN-Accredited Registrars will be allowed to join the live registration environment, they must first pass Operational Test and Evaluation ("OT&E") certification.

The OT&E process has two main objectives:

1. Verifying the correct operation of an ICANN-Accredited Registrar's client system, and the ICANN-Accredited Registrar's capability to operate the interface with the Registry; and

2. Establishing the contractual and business relationship between the ICANN-Accredited Registrar and the Registry, in accordance with the Registry-Registrar Agreement.

The OT&E certification process will be available to all ICANN-Accredited Registrars starting from the date described in Section 7 below.

All ICANN-Accredited Registrars will be required to pass certain tests to be eligible to go live. All tests performed during OT&E certification must be completed without errors. Registry Operator will provide the certification results in a timely manner and provide feedback for those ICANN-Accredited Registrars that failed to successfully complete the tests. ICANN-Accredited Registrars may correct their systems and re-schedule for certification. ICANN-Accredited Registrars will not be limited in the number of attempts at OT&E certification. Upon successful OT&E certification, the ICANN-Accredited Registrar becomes eligible for operation in the live registration environment. For specific technical details see Section E of Appendix C to the Registry Agreement.

3. SUNRISE PERIOD

Prior to opening the Registry for general registration, Registry Operator will implement a Sunrise Period registration program.

Eligible Parties

During this Sunrise Period, owners of any current (non-expired) trademark or service mark registration having national effect (including, for example, European Community Trademarks (CTMs) but excluding United States state registrations) that issued prior to October 2, 2000 will be eligible to register a domain name that is identical to the textual or word elements of such trademark or service mark, using ASCII characters only, and subject to the same character and formatting restrictions as apply to all domain name registrations in the Registry TLD. Where there is a space between the textual elements of a mark, the Registrant may elect at their discretion to use a hyphen or combine the elements together. For example, the mark "SERVICE MARK" could be registered as servicemark.info or service-mark.info. Trademark or service mark registrations from the supplemental or equivalent Registry of any country, or from individual states or provinces of a nation, will not be accepted.

Schedule for Sunrise Period

The Sunrise Period will be conducted as follows:

Announcement Period: At least forty-five to seventy-five (45 - 75) days prior to the commencement of the Land Rush Period, Registry Operator will make a general public announcement that will provide the following information: (i) the estimated Start Date for the Sunrise Period; (ii) the estimated termination date of the Sunrise Period; and (iii) the estimated Start Date for the Land Rush Period.

Sunrise Period: Following a minimum Announcement Period of at least fifteen to thirty (15 - 30) days, the Registry will begin processing domain name registration requests using the logical queue system set forth above. This Sunrise Period is scheduled to last for a minimum of thirty (30) days.
Cooling Off Period: After the conclusion of the Sunrise Period, Registry Operator reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to institute an "evaluation period" of fifteen (15) days. The purpose of such evaluation period is to provide the Registry the opportunity to evaluate the operation of the Registry and round robin systems and to make any necessary modifications prior to the Land Rush Period. Registry Operator reserves the right to increase or decrease the Cooling Off Period in its reasonable discretion.

Processing

In order for trademark and service mark owners to qualify to receive a registration during the Sunrise Period (a "Sunrise Registration"), the following information must be provided to Registry Operator: (i) the ASCII characters name of the trademark or service mark; (ii) the date the registration issued; (iii) the country of registration; and (iv) the registration number. This information will be required in addition to the standard information that Registry Operator will require all potential registrants to submit in order to register a domain name. This information shall be included in the Whois informational database to facilitate the resolution of disputes over Sunrise Registrations. The Whois database shall be made available at the commencement of the Sunrise Period. Neither Registry Operator nor the Authorized Registrars will verify any of this information prior to issuing a Sunrise Registration, but Registry Operator reserves the right to refuse or cancel any Sunrise Registration at any time and to request additional information relating to a Sunrise Registration from the registrant.

In the event that separate applicants submit registration requests for identical trademarks, the first request to be processed by the Registry that meets the criteria for a Sunrise Registration will be awarded the domain name registration.

Sunrise Registrations will only be accepted for registration terms of at least five years. A Sunrise Registration request will be filled only if the submitting Registrar has in place a mechanism to pay the registration fees for such registration, as described in its Registry-Registrar Agreement with Registry Operator.

Registry Operator will prohibit the transfer of all domain names registered during the Sunrise Period for a period of up to six months following the last day of the Sunrise Period, except for transfers made as a result of a successful challenge, a decision in a Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy ("UDRP") administrative proceeding, or an order from any court of competent jurisdiction. In addition, Sunrise Registrations that are subject to one or more pending challenges (see "Sunrise Dispute Resolution Policy" below) may not be transferred until such challenges are resolved.

Sunrise Registrations shall be subject to the terms of the Authorized Registrar's Registry-Registrar Agreement with Registry Operator.

Sunrise Dispute Resolution Policy

All Sunrise Period domain name registrants will agree to be subject to the Sunrise Dispute Resolution Policy described herein for all disputes arising out of Sunrise Registrations.

A third party may challenge a Sunrise Registration on the following basis: (i) the registrant did not own a current (non-expired) trademark or service mark registration; (ii) the trademark or service mark registration was not of national effect; (iii) the second level of the domain name is not identical to the trademark or service mark registration; or (iv) the trademark or service mark registration did not issue prior to October 2, 2000. All challenges will be subject to a challenge fee of US $295 upon assertion of the challenge. Parties may challenge Sunrise Registrations at any time during a period of one hundred twenty (120) days following the conclusion of the Sunrise Period. After such one hundred twenty (120) day period, parties disputing the validity of a Sunrise Registration must utilize the UDRP or available courts of law.

All dispute resolution proceedings involving Sunrise Registration challenges will be conducted in English, and any foreign language certificates submitted by the parties must be accompanied by certified translations. The domain name registrant and challenger may represent themselves in these proceeding or may be represented by legal counsel or other representatives.

Registry Operator, or its authorized third party dispute resolution providers, will administer challenges against Sunrise Period registrations as described below:

1. The challenger will electronically submit a notification to Registry Operator, in a form determined by Registry Operator, in which it sets forth the basis of the challenge, specifically identifies the registrant by name, assumes a contractual obligation to pay the $295 challenge fee, arranges for payment terms for the challenge fee and notifies Registry Operator of such terms. Such terms must be agreeable to Registry Operator in its reasonable discretion. Registry Operator will electronically time stamp each request and forward a copy of the challenge to the domain name registrant and the Authorized Registrar of record. In the case of multiple challenges to a single Sunrise Registration, the first party submitting a complete and accurate challenge will be given priority.

2. If the challenger fails to arrange for payment terms in a manner reasonably agreeable to Registry Operator, the challenge will be dismissed without prejudice, and, if other challenges to the Sunrise Registration remain, Registry Operator will process the next challenge, as shown by the timestamp on its challenge notice, in accordance with these dispute resolution procedures.

3. Upon arranging payment terms with the challenger, Registry Operator will send an electronic notice (email and/or facsimile) to the domain name registrant informing them that the challenge has been completed and will proceed. The domain name registrant will then have to arrange for payment terms of a $295 challenge fee and notify Registry Operator of such terms. Such terms must be agreeable to Registry Operator in its reasonable discretion. In addition, the domain name registrant shall have sixty (60) days from the date of notification of the completed challenge to submit a certified copy of its corresponding trademark or service mark registration, or other evidence sufficient to establish the existence of such registration, to Registry Operator or its authorized agent, when requested.

4. If the domain name registrant fails to arrange for payment terms agreeable to Registry Operator, or is unable to establish the existence of a current trademark or service mark registration within the allotted time, then the registrant will forfeit the domain name registration without refund of any registration or challenge fees.

5. If the domain name registrant arranges for payment terms agreeable to Registry Operator and establishes the existence of a trademark or service mark registration within the allotted time, Registry Operator or its designated agent will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine the merits of the challenge promptly within twenty (20) days of receipt of such terms and such registration information, and will notify the challenger and the registrant of its decision promptly after its resolution.

6. If the domain name registrant arranges for payment terms agreeable to Registry Operator and the domain name registrant's trademark or service mark registration meets the criteria for a Sunrise Registration, then (i) such registrant will retain the domain name registration, and (ii) Registry Operator will refund the registrant's entire challenge fee. The unsuccessful challenger will forfeit its entire challenge fee.

7. If the domain name registrant arranges for payment terms agreeable to Registry Operator and the domain name registrant's trademark or service mark registration does not meet the criteria for a Sunrise Registration, then (i) such registrant will forfeit the domain name registration without refund of any registration or challenge fees, and (ii) Registry Operator will place the domain name registration on a ten day hold.

8. During this ten-day hold period, Registry Operator will offer the prevailing challenger the option of registering the disputed domain name on its own behalf, provided that the challenger must provide the same information and agree to the same terms as required for Sunrise Registrations. If the challenger elects such option, the Registry will give it an authorization code to allow registration of the domain name through an Authorized Registrar.

9. If the prevailing challenger does not elect, or is not eligible, to register the domain name on its own behalf within the ten day hold period, then the authorization code and the option to register the domain name will be afforded to the first other challenger that submitted an accurate and complete challenge and arranged for payment terms of the challenge fee within the allotted time. The identification of such challenger will be based on the timestamp on its challenge. If no other such challengers exist, the domain name will be returned to the general pool of available domain names in accordance with Registry Operator's procedures for cancelled domain name registrations.

Outsourcing

Registry Operator reserves the right to outsource the dispute resolution procedures described in this Appendix J to a third party that, in Registry Operator's reasonable judgment, is qualified to conduct the dispute resolution process. Registry Operator reserves the right to develop, in consultation with such third party dispute resolution provider, supplemental rules to facilitate the dispute resolution procedure, provided that they are consistent with the policy set forth in this document.

4. LAND RUSH PERIOD

Eligible Parties

Registry Operator will not impose any restrictions on who may register a domain name during the Land Rush Period, other than those restrictions that apply during the normal operation of the Registry.

Schedule for Land Rush Period

The Land Rush Period will commence immediately after the conclusion of the Sunrise Period and any Cooling Off portion of the Sunrise Period.

Registry Operator will notify ICANN at least fifteen (15) days prior to the commencement of the Land Rush Period of its anticipated Start Date for the Land Rush Period. Promptly after the receipt of such notice, but in no event later than seven (7) days after the receipt of such notice, ICANN shall delegate the Registry TLD within the Authoritative Root-Server System to nameservers designated by Registry Operator. As defined in the Agreement, the date ICANN so delegates the Registry TLD shall be the "Commencement-of-Service Date."

Registry Operator will provide a general public announcement stating the Start Date for the Land Rush Period at least five (5) days before the commencement of such period. The Land Rush Period will continue so long as necessary for Registry Operator to conclude its processing of queued registrations. Upon the conclusion of the Land Rush Period, Registry Operator will transition to real-time registration as described above.

Processing

All domain name registration requests received during the Land Rush Period will be processed using the logical queue system described above. These registrations may not be transferred until sixty (60) days after the conclusion of the Land Rush Period, absent a decision in a UDRP administrative proceeding or an order from any court of competent jurisdiction. All Land Rush Registrations will be for a minimum period of two (2) years.

Dispute Resolution

All Land Rush domain name registrants will agree to be subject to the UDRP for disputes arising out of Land Rush registrations, and shall be subject to the terms of the Authorized Registrar's Registry-Registrar Agreement with Registry Operator.

5. REGISTRAR DOMAIN NAMES

Each Authorized Registrar that enters into a Registry-Registrar Agreement with Registry Operator at least ten (10) days prior to the beginning of the Land Rush Period shall have the right to register up to ten (10) second level domain names ("Registrar Registrations") in the Registry TLD, provided that the desired Registrar Registration (i) was not reserved or previously registered, (ii) is a trade name, trademark or service mark of the Authorized Registrar, and (iii) is identical to a name registered by the Authorized Registrar in either the .com or .net TLD.

Processing

Each such Authorized Registrar shall submit its list of desired Registrar Registrations to Registry Operator at least ten (10) days prior to the beginning of the Land Rush Period. Registry Operator shall process such Registrar Registrations promptly upon receipt thereof.

Registry Operator shall charge Authorized Registrars its standard registration fee for each Registrar Registration.

Dispute Resolution

In the event of a dispute between Authorized Registrars over a desired Registrar Registration, Registry Operator shall grant the Registrar Registration to the Authorized Registrar that first registered the identical name in the .com or .net TLD, as reflected in the records of the registry for the .com and .net TLDs.

All Authorized Registrars that register Registrar Registrations will agree to be subject to the UDRP, and shall be subject to the terms of the Authorized Registrar's Registry-Registrar Agreement with Registry Operator.

6. PHASE-IN OF NAME RESOLUTION

For Sunrise Registrations and Registrar Registrations, the domain names will resolve seven (7) days after the beginning of the Land Rush Period.

For Land Rush registrations, the domain names will resolve within five (5) minutes of their successful processing by the Registry.

7. PUBLIC NOTIFICATION MECHANISMS

Registry Operator will work in conjunction with ICANN, the intellectual property constituency and the Internet community at large to maximize the notification process by using a multitude of mechanisms including: the Registry Operator web site, email announcements; registrar communiqués; press releases; as well as article and general advertisements.

Announcements regarding the timing of the Start Date for the Sunrise Period and the Land Rush Period, and of the Sunrise Period and Land Rush Period logical queue rotations will, at a minimum, be available on the Registry Operator web site.

8. SUMMARY OF ANTICIPATED SCHEDULE

Registry Operator anticipates that the Sunrise and Land Rush Periods will observe the following schedule.

Event

Days Before/After Commencement of Land Rush Period
OT&E Estimated Commencement Date

(-45) - (-75)
Sunrise Announcement Date

(-45) - (-75)
Sunrise Start Date/Whois Database Available

 (-30) - (-45)
First Round Submissions

 (-30) - (-45)
Second Round Submissions/Processing of First Round

(-23) - (-38)
Third Round Submissions/Processing of Second Round

(-20) - (-35)
Fourth Round Submissions/Processing of Third Round

(-18) - (-33)
Fifth Round Submissions/Processing of Fourth Round

(-16) - (-31)
Suspension of Submissions (if no additional rounds)/Processing of Fifth Round

(-13) - (-29)
Commencement of Real Time Sunrise Registration (if no additional rounds)

(-12) - (-27)
Sunrise End Date/Beginning of Sunrise Dispute Resolution

(0) - (-15)
Cooling Off Period Begins

(0) - (-15)
Notice to ICANN of Anticipated Commencement of Land Rush Period

(-15)
Final Day for Submission of Registrar Names

(-10)
Delegation of TLD by ICANN to Nameservers Designated by Registry Operator ("Commencement-of-Service Date")

(-7)
Announcement of Land Rush Period

(-5)
Cooling Off Period Ends

0
Launch Date/Land Rush Start Date

0
First Round Submissions

0
Sunrise Registrations Resolve

7
Second Round Submissions/Processing of First Round

7
Third Round Submissions/Processing of Second Round

10
Fourth Round Submissions/Processing of Third Round

12
Fifth Round Submissions/Processing of Fourth Round

14
Suspension of Submissions (if no additional rounds)/Processing of Fifth Round

16
Commencement of Real Time Registration (if no additional rounds)

18
First Day for Transfers of Land Rush Names

78
Last Day to Make Sunrise Challenges

120
First Day for Transfers of Sunrise Names

6 months

9. REGISTRY OPERATOR LIABILITY LIMITATIONS

Registry Operator will have no liability of any kind for any loss or liability resulting from the proceedings and processes relating to the Sunrise Period or the Land Rush Period, including, without limitation: (i) the ability or inability of a registrant to obtain a domain name registration during these periods, and (ii) the results of any dispute over a Sunrise Registration. Registry Operator shall require all Authorized Registrars participating in the Sunrise Period or the Land Rush Period to include provisions in its agreements with registrants to effect this limitation of liability, and shall include similar provisions in its agreements with such Authorized Registrars.

Earlier drafts:

25 April 2001
2 March 2001


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