Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) Registry Agreements

gTLD Registry Agreements establish the rights, duties, liabilities, and obligations ICANN requires of registry operators to run gTLDs.

Unsponsored TLD Agreement: Appendix J (.biz)

ICANN | Unsponsored TLD Agreement: Appendix J (.biz)

  ICANN Logo

Unsponsored TLD Agreement: Appendix J (.biz)
Posted: 11 May 2001

Registry TLD Start-Up Plan

Registry Operator will follow a multi-phased start-up procedure for .biz. These phases have been designed to ensure fairness and equity to all ICANN-Accredited Registrars, resellers, potential registrants and registrants, and to reflect the diverse needs of these constituencies and the Internet Community. The approximate commencement date of the phases are set forth below:


Phase 1: Start-Up Intellectual Property Notification and Domain Name Application Service
  • Acceptance of Trademark Claim Forms: 150 days prior to Commencement-of-Service Date.
  • Last Day to Submit Trademark Claim Forms: 110 days prior to Commencement-of-Service Date
  • Acceptance of Domain Name Application submissions: 110 days prior to Commencement-of-Service Date
  • Last day to submit Domain Name Applications before Landrush: 15-30 days prior to Commencement-of-Service Date
Phase 2: Landrush
  • 15-30 days prior to Commencement-of-Service Date
Phase 3: Registry Live

Occurs on Commencement-of-Service Date:

  • WHOIS service available
  • DNS service available
  • Registration of domain names on first-come, first-served basis begins
  • Commencement of 30 day "Hold Period" for domain names that are subject to SIPN

This Appendix describes the Start-Up Intellectual Property Notification and Domain Name Application Service, and the Landrush process. The Registry Live phase is described more fully in Appendix C. NeuLevel will develop proprietary systems to support the first two phases of operation of the Registry. The systems for these phases are being developed specifically for the purposes described below and are not intended to be supported after the Commencement-of-Service Date. The time frames contemplated herein are approximate and subject to change with advance notice to ICANN and the Internet community. All final dates will be published on our website.

Phase 1: Intellectual Property Notification and Domain Name Application Service

The Start-Up Intellectual Property Notification and Domain Name Application Service is designed to assist entities with intellectual property rights in trademarks and service marks ("Trademarks") in protecting their rights in the context of new TLDs and expected significant number of applications for new second level domain names. As more fully described below, each domain name application in the .biz TLD submitted through an ICANN-Accredited Registrar will be compared to a database of Trademark claim forms operated by the Registry Operator. For each match between the domain name for an application and a string identified on a Trademark Claim Form (as defined below) notifications will be provided that entities have claimed intellectual property rights over that domain name.

A. Trademark Claim Form Submission

The Start-up Intellectual Property Notification service ("SIPN") will begin approximately 150 days prior to the Commencement-of-Service Date, Registry Operator will advise the public about the SIPN service by publishing detailed information for the general public that describes the SIPN process on its own website as well as make available to ICANN to publish on its website. For a period of approximately thirty (30) to forty-five (45) days beginning approximately 110 days prior to the Commencement-of-Service Date ("Claim Period"), Trademark owners ("Claimants") will be afforded the opportunity to fill out and submit "Trademark Claim Forms" which will set out the following information:

(i) The .biz domain name in which the Trademark owner is claiming intellectual property rights. This domain name must be identical to the alphanumeric string contained in the mark;

(ii) Exact alphanumeric string contained in the trademark in which rights are claimed;

(iii) Trademark holder entity contact information;

(iv) Trademark holder representative's contact information and relationship to trademark holder entity (i.e., General Counsel, President, CEO, etc.);

(v) Description of goods and services for which the exact Trademark is being used;

(vi) Date of first use of the Trademark in commerce; and

(vii) If the mark is registered with any national Trademark office, registration number, and country where registration was obtained (optional).

There shall be no restriction on the number of intellectual property owners that may file Trademark Claim Forms for a given domain name. Trademark owners may not submit a Trademark Claim Form after the Claim Period.

The Registry Operator will not, however:

  • Verify whether a claim corresponds with an actual Trademark.
  • Provide legal oversight or adjudication.
  • Guarantee or represent that a Trademark owner who enrolls in the SIPN ("Claimant") will receive the actual domain name.

Due to the administrative requirements associated with comparing Trademark Claim Forms with domain name applications, and the limited duration of the SIPN process, the Registry Operator, and not ICANN-Accredited Registrars will be responsible for managing and administering the SIPN service. In conjunction with the various marketing channels of Registry Operator, ICANN-Accredited Registrars may also be afforded the opportunity to participate in the marketing of the SIPN service in accordance with Registry Operator's Equal Access Requirements and Code of Conduct, as set forth in Appendices H and I respectively. The SIPN service will be offered on a fixed fee per Trademark Claim Form basis. The amount of the SIPN fee will be published by Registry Operator prior to the commencement of the SIPN service, but in no event will the fee exceed the maximum amount set forth in Section 6 of Appendix G. This fee will be collected by the Registry Operator, or its designee at the time that the Trademark Claim Form is submitted.

Claimants will submit a Trademark Claim Form for each separate Trademark for which they are claiming intellectual property rights via a website. This website will be accessible 24 hours per day and will provide information about the SIPN, the Pre-registration, Landrush and SRS live phases, and a link to any relevant dispute resolution services. Claimants will receive e-mail notification acknowledging receipt of the Trademark Claim Form.

Submission of a Trademark Claim Form does not create any special rights with respect to registering a particular domain name. Any Claimant wishing to register a domain name must also submit a separate domain name application as described below. In addition to the Trademark Claim Form, the Claimant must also submit an Application (as described below) in order to be eligible to have a chance at receiving the actual domain name. The submission of a Trademark Claim Form does not guarantee that the Claimant will receive the actual domain name.

B. Domain Name Application Submission

After the end of the Claim period set forth above, and for a period of approximately ninety days thereafter, ICANN-Accredited Registrars will collect from those individuals or entities applying for a .biz domain name ("Applicants") and provide to the Registry Operator the applications for domain name registrations in the Registry TLD ("Applications").

  • Prior to the commencement of the submission of domain name Applications, the Registry Operator will have:
  • Agreements with ICANN-Accredited Registrars;
  • Completed testing with these ICANN-Accredited Registrars as set forth below;
  • Established Customer Support processes and procedures for ICANN-Accredited Registrars as set forth in Appendix C;
  • Established processes and procedures for billing, order entry, reporting and operations support;
  • A website that will support secure transactions from Registrars, including posting of reports for ICANN-Accredited Registrars;
  • A website that provides information to potential domain name Applicants;
  • Customer Care support;
  • Escalation processes and procedures for ICANN-Accredited Registrars; and
  • Debit and billing capabilities.

ICANN-Accredited Registrars and Applicants will be advised that a minimum subscription of two (2) years will be required for domain name registrations granted during Landrush, and that a non-refundable fixed fee for each domain name Application will be assessed. Such application fee shall not exceed the amount set forth in Appendix G. This fee is separate and in addition to the Domain Name Initial Registration Fee set forth in Section 1 of Appendix G.

Only ICANN-Accredited Registrars that have completed testing with the Registry Operator will be permitted to submit Applications. The technical requirements placed on ICANN-Accredited Registrars during Phases 1 and 2 will be significantly less than that required once the Registry enables the XRP protocol post-Landrush (as set forth below). During this start-up period, ICANN-accredited Registrars must pass a start-up-phase technical acceptance test provided by the registry. The start-up-phase acceptance test will involve:

  • Creation of batch files
  • Submission of batch files
  • Validation of submitted files against format and syntactic rules

ICANN-Accredited Registrars will be granted start-up-phase system access after submitting a batch file correctly conforming to the structure and syntax required by the Registry Operator. ICANN-Accredited Registrars will be responsible for developing the necessary interface with their customers. The Registry Operator will develop an API that the ICANN-Accredited Registrars will use to interface with the Registry Operator's systems. ICANN-Accredited Registrars will use a batch process to submit domain name applications to the Registry Operator. The file format, transport method, and processing schedule will be provided in advance to the ICANN-Accredited Registrars. The Registry Operator will check the file format and integrity of each batch file to determine if it is readable. If the batch file is not readable, the ICANN-Accredited Registrar will be notified and given an opportunity to resubmit the batch file.

When submitting its domain name application, the applicant will be given the opportunity to purchase NeuLevel's Secure Domain Name Registration Service. In the event that an applicant obtains the domain name in question through the Landrush process described below, the service will be activated and the domain name holder billed after the Commencement-of-Service Date. The Secure Domain Name Registration Service will be designed to provide a higher level of domain name security to businesses with a mission critical domain name. Although domain names enrolled in the service will be subject to the restrictions and requirements of the .biz TLD, a secure registration will be maintained in a "locked" status so that no changes to the information about the name may be modified absent affirmative approval obtained from the registrant by the Registry Operator. This service will minimize the likelihood that a domain name will be hijacked or otherwise made unavailable either intentionally or through administrative error. The Secure Domain Name Service will be offered on a 5-year term subject to the maximum fee set forth in Appendix G.

Prior to Landrush, each Application received by the Registry Operator will be compared to the Trademark Claim Form database. For each match between an Application and a Trademark Claim Form, the Registry Operator will notify the applicant and the ICANN-Accredited Registrar through which the applicant filed an Application, that a third party, or parties, has submitted a claim for the exact string requested. The notification to the Applicant will include, among other things, the information provided by Claimant in the Trademark Claim Form, instructions on how to proceed with the registration process, notification that the domain name will automatically placed "On Hold" (as described below) if the name is registered. This notification is provided to all Applicants that apply for the same string in the Application and does not guarantee ultimate registration by that Applicant of the domain name during Landrush.

The e-mail notification to the Applicant will provide a link to a secure site where the Applicant will go to confirm whether it wishes to proceed with the domain name application. The Applicant will have the option to proceed with the application or cancel. If the Applicant does not respond to the e-mail notification from the Registry Operator, or elects to cancel the Application, the Application will not be processed during Landrush, thus making the Applicant ineligible to register the actual domain name. If the Applicant affirmatively elects to continue the application process after being notified of the Claimant(s) alleged trademark rights in the desired domain name, Registry Operator will provide confirmation to the Applicant as well as the ICANN-Accredited Registrar through which the Applicant filed the Application, confirming the decision to pursue the domain name during Landrush.

Phase 2: Landrush

The Landrush phase will begin approximately fifteen (15) to thirty (30) days prior to the Commencement-of-Service Date, depending on the number of Applications received by the Registry Operator. The final date will be published on Registry Operator's website. All of the Applications from all ICANN-Accredited Registrars received by the Registry Operator will be combined and randomized in a single batch for Landrush processing. This process will ensure fairness for each ICANN-Accredited Registrar and Applicant. In order to assure the ICANN-Accredited Registrar community and the public that the results will be truly random, NeuLevel will apply a randomization algorithm to the batch. The requirement of the randomization algorithm is to ensure that submitted domain names are completely randomized, without bias to any ICANN-Accredited Registrar.

The duration of processing during the Landrush phase will depend on the number of Applications received and placed in the processing queue. Domain name requests will be processed in the order in which they appear in the randomized batch. After the processing of all Applications, each ICANN-Accredited Registrar will be notified of the domain names granted for that ICANN-Accredited Registrar's customers. It will be the responsibility of the ICANN-Accredited Registrar to notify its customers whether they received the name(s) for which they submitted Applications.

Registry Operator will not guarantee that any individual Applicant or ICANN-Accredited Registrar will obtain a given name, nor will it accept any liability for errors, mistakes, omissions or technical problems that arise with the Start-up Process.

ICANN-Accredited Registrars will be responsible for payment for each domain name that is successfully registered. This registration fee will be separate from the non-refundable fixed application fee submitted during Phase 1 above. The Registry Operator will deduct payment from a debit account pre-funded by each ICANN-Accredited Registrar. Domain names registered during the Landrush period will be registered for two (2) years.

Phase 3: Registry Live

Registry Live begins on the Commencement-of-Service Date and will include the services and functionality described in Appendix C.

A. ICANN-Accredited Registrar Testing for Registry Live.

Before being granted access to the Registry-Live system, ICANN-Accredited Registrars will be required to pass a more extensive acceptance test than for Phases 1 and 2 described above. It will require that ICANN-Accredited Registrars pass an XRP acceptance test which will involve:

  • Connecting to the registry and establishing a session
  • Passing the authentication/authorization process
  • Executing a script testing each XRP function at least once
  • Disconnecting from the system

The Registry Operator will record a transaction log documenting the ICANN-Accredited Registrar's interaction with the Registry Operator. The ICANN-Accredited Registrar will be granted full access to the system after successfully passing this test.

B. Commencement of Service.

As of the Commencement of Service Date, all domain names granted during the Landrush phase will be activated in the DNS unless such names are subject to the Hold Period described below.

C. Registration Hold Period.

The registration in the live registry of a domain name that is the subject of a complete Trademark Claims Form will not be immediate, but rather the subject domain name registration will automatically enter a thirty (30) day Hold Period during which all Claimants will be advised by e-mail of the identity of the person or entity that has registered the exact Trademark claimed. The notification e-mail will include the full WHOIS information of the registrant. In addition, the e-mail will provide a hyperlink to the Start-Up Uniform Dispute Resolution Process ("SUDRP") as described in Appendix M to the Registry Agreement.

During this Hold Period, the domain name will not be activated in the DNS. Should a notified party file a contest to the registration in the formal SUDRP process, the domain name would be "locked" until the dispute is decided. During such "locked" period, in accordance with the current Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy, modification by the registrant of the domain name information (i.e. holder, contact information, etc.) will not be permitted, however, the domain name will resolve to the DNS after the Hold Period set forth above.

Disclaimer of Warranties


Earlier drafts:

22 April 2001
5 March 2001

Comments concerning the layout, construction and functionality of this site
should be sent to

Page Updated 19-May-2001

©2001  The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. All rights reserved.