Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) Registry Agreements
This Escrow Agreement ("Agreement") is made as of this 30 day of June, 2009, by and between VeriSign, Inc. ("Registry Operator"), Iron Mountain Intellectual Property Management, Inc. ("Escrow Agent"), and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ("ICANN").
Preliminary Statement. Registry Operator intends to deliver the "Deposit Materials" and any "Additional Deposit" to Escrow Agent as defined and provided for herein. Registry Operator desires Escrow Agent to hold the Deposit Materials and, upon certain events described herein, deliver the Deposit Materials (or a copy thereof) to ICANN in accordance with the terms hereof.
Escrow Agent certifies that it is allowed to receive the Deposit under the UK Data Protection Act as a registered data controller and/or is certified under the European Union Safe Harbour Act.
Now, therefore, in consideration of the foregoing, of the mutual promises hereinafter set forth, and for other good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which are hereby acknowledged, the parties agree as follows:
1. Delivery by Registry Operator. Registry Operator shall be solely responsible for delivering to Escrow Agent the Deposit Materials, as defined and described in Exhibit A, the "Task Order and Statement of Work," attached as Appendix 1 to the .com Registry Agreement between Registry Operator and ICANN and incorporated herein by reference. Registry Operator may elect to deliver the Deposit Materials by the "Electronic Delivery Service," defined in Exhibit A to Appendix 1 or in a manner mutually agreed upon by Escrow Agent and Registry Operator. Upon receipt of the Deposit Materials via Electronic Delivery Service, Escrow Agent shall download the Deposit Materials onto CD-ROM, or other electronic storage media as mutually agreed upon by Escrow Agent and Registry Operator, and generate a file listing, which Escrow Agent shall, within ten (10) business days of the end of each calendar month, forward to Registry Operator, via email or United States mail. Within two (2) business days after receiving them, Escrow Agent shall verify that any Deposit Materials are in the proper format and appear to be complete by performing the verification procedures specified in Exhibit B of Appendix 1. Escrow Agent and Registry Operator agree that Escrow Agent will verify the Deposit Materials using scripts provided by Registry Operator (“Scripts”). Registry Operator shall provide the Scripts to Escrow Agent with all necessary rights to use the Scripts for the sole purpose of performing Escrow Agent’s obligations under this Agreement, but that Registry Operator retains title to and all other rights in the Scripts. Escrow Agent and Registry Operator further agree that Registry Operator shall make updates as required to maintain the functionality of the Scripts and that Escrow Agent may also make updates to the Scripts as needed to integrate the Scripts into Escrow Agent’s software environment. Any updates made to the Scripts by the Escrow Agent shall remain the property of the Escrow Agent. Escrow Agent shall deliver, on the last business day of each month, a written certification to ICANN that it has performed those verification procedures on all Deposit Materials received during the last month and shall deliver to ICANN a copy of the verification reports generated by those procedures. If Escrow Agent discovers that any Deposit Materials fail the verification procedures, Escrow Agent shall notify ICANN and Registry Operator of such nonconformity within forty-eight (48) hours. Escrow Agent shall then hold the Deposit Materials in accordance with the terms and conditions hereof.
(a) Escrow Agent may duplicate the Deposit Materials by any means in order to comply with the terms and provisions of this Agreement. Alternatively, Escrow Agent, by notice to Registry Operator, may reasonably require Registry Operator to promptly duplicate the Deposit Materials and forward the same to Escrow Agent.
(b) Registry Operator shall deposit with Escrow Agent the "Additional Deposit," as defined and described in the attached Exhibit A of Appendix 1. Within two (2) business days after receiving them, Escrow Agent shall verify that any Additional Deposits are in the proper format and appear to be complete by performing the verification procedures specified in Exhibit B of Appendix 1. Escrow Agent shall deliver, on the last business day of each month, a written certification to ICANN that it has performed those verification procedures on all Additional Deposits received during the last month and shall deliver to ICANN a copy of the verification reports generated by those procedures. If Escrow Agent discovers that any Additional Deposits fail the verification procedures, Escrow Agent shall notify ICANN and Registry Operator of such nonconformity within forty-eight (48) hours.
3. Notification of Deposits. Simultaneous with the delivery to Escrow Agent of the Deposit Materials or any Additional Deposit, as the case may be, Registry Operator shall deliver to Escrow Agent a written statement, via email, specifically identifying all items deposited and stating that the Deposit Materials and/or any Additional Deposit have been inspected by Registry Operator and are complete and accurate. Escrow Agent shall, within ten (10) business days of receipt of any Deposit Materials or Additional Deposit, send notification to Registry Operator, via email, that it has received from Registry Operator such Deposit Materials and/or any such Additional Deposit. In addition, Escrow Agent shall also include a copy of the verification report as confirmation that it has run the verification process.
4.1 Delivery by Escrow Agent to ICANN. Escrow Agent shall deliver the Deposit Materials and any Additional Deposits received since the last submission of Deposit Material ("Outstanding Additional Deposits"), or a complete copy thereof, to ICANN only in the event that:
(a) Registry Operator notifies Escrow Agent to effect such delivery to ICANN at a specific address, the notification being accompanied by a check payable to Escrow Agent in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100.00); or
(i) Written notification that the Registry Agreement between Registry Operator and ICANN dated March 1, 2006 ("Registry Agreement") has been finally, validly and legally terminated under Section 6 of the Registry Agreement and no injunction or similar order has been obtained from an arbitrator or court prohibiting ICANN from securing the data in this escrow (“Registry Termination”);
4.2 Delivery at Registry Operator's Request. If the provisions of 4.1(a) are satisfied, Escrow Agent shall, within five (5) business days after receipt of the notification and check specified in Paragraph 4.1(a), deliver the Deposit Materials and Outstanding Additional Deposits in accordance with the applicable instructions.
4.3 Delivery at ICANN's Request. If the provisions of Paragraphs 4.1(b) or 4.1(c) are satisfied, Escrow Agent within five (5) business days after receipt of all the documents specified in these paragraphs, shall deliver the following: (i) to Registry Operator, a photostatic copy of all such documents; (ii) to ICANN, as specifically instructed by ICANN, electronic copies of the Deposit Materials and electronic copies of the Outstanding Additional Deposits; provided, however, that if the delivery is commenced by reason of Paragraph 4.1 (c), Registry Operator may make the payment owing to Escrow Agent during the five (5) business day period referenced above, and Escrow Agent shall not thereafter deliver to ICANN the materials specified in subpart (ii), above. Following receipt of the notice to Registry Operator under subpart (i) of the preceding sentence, Registry Operator shall have thirty (30) days from the date on which Registry Operator receives such documents ("Objection Period") to notify Escrow Agent of its objection ("Objection Notice") to the release of the Deposit Materials to ICANN and request that the issue of entitlement to a copy of the Deposit Materials be submitted to arbitration in accordance with the following provisions:
(b) If Registry Operator shall send an Objection Notice to Escrow Agent during the Objection Period, the matter shall be submitted to and settled by arbitration by a panel of three (3) arbitrators chosen by the American Arbitration Association in accordance with the rules of the American Arbitration Association. The arbitrators shall apply the law of California exclusive of its conflicts of laws rules. At least one (1) arbitrator shall be reasonably familiar with the Internet industry. The decision of the arbitrators shall be binding and conclusive on all parties involved, and judgment upon their decision may be entered in a court of competent jurisdiction. All costs of the arbitration incurred by Escrow Agent, including reasonable attorneys' fees and costs, shall be paid by the party which does not prevail in the arbitration; provided, however, if the arbitration is settled prior to a decision by the arbitrators, the parties involved in the arbitration shall each pay an equal percentage of all such costs.
(c) Notwithstanding Paragraph 4.3(b), the parties agree that any arbitration brought pursuant to Paragraph 4.3 shall not re-evaluate, reconsider, or otherwise subject to review any issues, causes of action, or other claims which were decided, in an arbitration or court decision involving the parties hereto concerning the Registry Agreement and/or the Cooperative Agreement, and that any decision regarding such issues or claims in an arbitration brought pursuant to Paragraph 4.3 would be invalid, unenforceable, and not binding. The propriety, validity, legality, or effectiveness of any terminations or actions under the Registry Agreement and/or Cooperative Agreement shall be determined solely through procedures and remedies provided for by those respective agreements, not through any arbitration brought pursuant to Paragraph 4.3. Any arbitration proceeding brought pursuant to Paragraph 4.3 shall be limited to a determination of whether Paragraphs 4.1(b) and (c) have been satisfied.
(d) Registry Operator may, at any time prior to the commencement of arbitration proceedings, notify Escrow Agent that Registry Operator has withdrawn the Objection Notice. Upon receipt of any such notice from Registry Operator, Escrow Agent shall promptly deliver Deposit Materials and Outstanding Additional Deposits to ICANN in accordance with the instructions provided by ICANN.
(e) If the release of materials to ICANN pursuant to Paragraph 4.3 is judged to be proper in any arbitration brought in accordance with Paragraph 4.3, Escrow Agent shall promptly deliver to ICANN, in accordance with the instructions specified in Paragraph 4.1(b)(v) above, any Deposit Materials and Outstanding Additional Deposits that have not previously been delivered. All parties agree that Escrow Agent shall not be required to deliver such Deposit Materials and Outstanding Additional Deposits until all such fees then due to Escrow Agent have been paid.
(f) If the release of the Deposit Materials and Outstanding Additional Deposits to ICANN pursuant to Paragraph 4.3 is judged to have been improper in any arbitration brought in accordance with Paragraph 4.3, ICANN shall promptly return or destroy, at Registry Operator's discretion, those Deposit Materials and Outstanding Additional Deposits that were received by ICANN pursuant to Paragraph 4.3.
4.4 Delivery by Escrow Agent to Registry Operator. Escrow Agent shall release and deliver the Deposit Materials and any Additional Deposit to Registry Operator upon termination of this Agreement in accordance with Paragraph 7(a) or 7(b) hereof.
5. Indemnity. Subject to the limitation imposed under Section 11(a), Registry Operator and ICANN shall jointly and severally indemnify and hold harmless Escrow Agent and each of its directors, officers, agents and employees ("Escrow Agent Indemnitees") absolutely and forever, from and against any and all claims, actions, damages, suits, liabilities, obligations, costs, fees, charges, and any other expenses whatsoever, including reasonable attorneys' fees and costs, that may be asserted by a third party against any Escrow Agent Indemnitee in connection with this Agreement or the performance of Escrow Agent or any Escrow Agent Indemnitee hereunder. Subject to the limitation imposed under Section 11(a), Escrow Agent shall likewise indemnify and hold harmless Registry Operator and ICANN, and each of their respective directors, officers, agents, and employees ("Indemnitees") absolutely and forever, from and against any and all claims, actions, damages, suits, liabilities, obligations, costs, fees, charges, and any other expenses whatsoever, including reasonable attorneys' fees and costs, that may be asserted by a third party against any Indemnitee in connection with the misrepresentation, negligence, or misconduct of Escrow Agent, its directors, officers, agents, employees and contractors.
(a) Escrow Agent may submit any dispute under this Agreement to any court of competent jurisdiction in an interpleader or similar action other than a matter submitted to arbitration after Escrow Agent's receipt of an Objection Notice under Paragraph 4 and the parties under this Agreement submit the matter to such arbitration as described in Paragraph 4 of this Agreement. Any and all costs incurred by Escrow Agent in connection therewith, including reasonable attorneys' fees and costs, shall be borne 50% by each of Registry Operator and ICANN.
(a) The initial term of this Agreement shall be two (2) years, commencing on the date hereof (the "Initial Term"). This Agreement shall be automatically extended for an additional term of one year ("Additional Term") at the end of the Initial Term and at the end of each Additional Term hereunder. Escrow Agent acting alone or Registry Operator, with the concurrence of ICANN, may terminate this Agreement at any time upon giving the other parties ninety (90) days notice.
(b) In the event Registry Operator gives notice of its intent to terminate pursuant to Paragraph 7(a), and ICANN fails to concur according to Paragraph 7(a), ICANN shall be responsible for payment of all subsequent fees in accordance with Exhibit A of Appendix 1 and shall have the right to terminate this Agreement at any time upon giving the other parties ninety (90) days notice.
(c) In the event of termination of this Agreement in accordance with Paragraph 7(a) or 7(b) hereof, Registry Operator shall pay all fees due Escrow Agent and shall promptly notify ICANN that this Agreement has been terminated and that Escrow Agent shall return to Registry Operator all copies of the Deposit Materials and any Additional Deposit then in its possession.
8. Fees. Registry Operator shall pay to Escrow Agent the applicable fees in accordance with Exhibit A of Appendix 1 as compensation for Escrow Agent's services under this Agreement. The first year's fees are due upon receipt of the signed contract or Deposit Materials, whichever comes first, and shall be paid in U.S. Dollars.
(a) Invoice Payment. After acceptance, Registry Operator shall pay valid and properly submitted invoices within thirty (30) days of the date of such invoice; provided, however, that Registry Operator shall not be obligated to pay any amounts disputed in good faith. Registry Operator shall notify Escrow Agent in writing in the event Registry Operator in good faith disputes the invoice or any portion thereof setting forth the reasons of such dispute, and the parties agree to negotiate in good faith a resolution to such disputed invoice; provided, however, that if the parties cannot reasonably agree on the disputed charges of such dispute, the parties shall escalate such dispute to the appropriate director/vice president level to resolve such dispute. Payments to Escrow Agent shall be sent to the remittance address set forth on Escrow Agent’s invoice.
(b) Nonpayment. In the event of non-payment of any fees or charges invoiced by Escrow Agent, Escrow Agent shall give notice of non-payment of any fee due and payable hereunder to Registry Operator and, in such an event, Registry Operator shall have the right to pay the unpaid fee within ten (10) business days after receipt of notice from Escrow Agent. If Registry Operator fails to pay in full all fees due during such ten (10) day period, Escrow Agent shall give notice of non-payment of any fee due and payable hereunder to ICANN and, in such event, ICANN shall have the right to pay the unpaid fee within ten (10) business days of receipt of such notice from Escrow Agent. Upon payment of the unpaid fee by either Registry Operator or ICANN, as the case may be, this Agreement shall continue in full force and effect until the end of the applicable term. Upon a failure to pay the unpaid fee under this Paragraph 8(b) by either Registry Operator or ICANN, or by Registry Operator under 4.3, the Escrow Agent shall proceed as set forth in Paragraph 4.3 as though ICANN had requested delivery of the Deposit Materials.
(c) Invoice Submission Address. During the term of this Agreement, Escrow Agent agrees to submit detailed and timely invoices, not more frequently than once a month, and not later than ninety (90) days after the work performed under such invoice has been completed, to Registry Operator at the address set forth below as described herein. All invoices issued hereunder shall reference the Purchase Order number assigned to the work performed under this Agreement and the Exhibits hereto. Escrow Agent shall not submit any invoices to Registry Operator that do not reference the applicable Purchase Order number provided that Registry Operator shall be responsible for timely providing Escrow Agent such applicable Purchase Order number. Escrow Agent shall submit original invoices solely to Registry Operator’s Accounts Payable department at the mailing or electronic mailing address as set forth below:
Invoice Submission Address:
Or Invoices may be submitted electronically to:
9. Ownership of Deposit Materials. The parties recognize and acknowledge that ownership of the Deposit Materials during the effective term of this Agreement shall remain with Registry Operator at all times.
10.Retention and Confidentiality.
(a)Retention. Escrow Agent shall hold and maintain the Deposit Materials in a secure, locked, and environmentally safe facility which is accessible only to authorized representatives of Escrow Agent. Escrow Agent shall use commercially reasonable efforts to protect the integrity of the Deposit Materials. Each of ICANN and Registry Operator shall have the right to inspect Escrow Agent's written records with respect to this Agreement upon reasonable prior notice and during normal business hours.
(b)Confidentiality. Escrow Agent shall at all times protect the confidentiality of the Deposit Materials. Except as provided in this Agreement, Escrow Agent shall not disclose, transfer, make available, or use any Deposit Materials (or any copies of any Deposit Materials). Should Escrow Agent be put on notice that it is required to disclose any Deposit Materials by statute, rule, regulation, order, or other requirement of a governmental agency, legislative body, court of competent jurisdiction, or binding arbitral body (other than any requirement pursuant to Sections 4 or 8(b) of this Agreement), Escrow Agent shall notify ICANN and Registry Operator within seven (7) days or as soon as practicable and reasonably cooperate with Registry Operator and/or ICANN in any contest of the disclosure. Should any contest prove unsuccessful, Escrow Agent shall not be held liable for any disclosure pursuant to such governmental, legislative, judicial, or arbitral order, statute, rule, regulation, or other requirement.
(a) Remedies. Except for misrepresentation, negligence or misconduct by Escrow Agent, its employees, or contractors, Escrow Agent shall not be liable to Registry Operator or to ICANN for any act, or failure to act, by Escrow Agent in connection with this Agreement. Any liability of Escrow Agent regardless of the cause shall be limited to the fees exchanged under this Agreement during the 12 month period preceding the claim. Escrow Agent will not be liable for special, indirect, incidental or consequential damages hereunder.
(b) Permitted Reliance and Abstention. Escrow Agent may rely and shall be fully protected in acting or refraining from acting upon any notice or other document believed by Escrow Agent in good faith to be genuine and to have been signed or presented by the proper person or entity. Escrow Agent shall have no duties or responsibilities except those expressly set forth herein.
(e) Assignment. Neither Registry Operator nor ICANN may assign or transfer this Agreement (by merger, sale of assets, operation of law, or otherwise), except that the rights and obligations of Registry Operator or ICANN automatically shall be transferred to the assignee of one of those parties' rights and obligations under the Registry Agreement. However, Escrow Agent shall have no obligation in performing this Agreement to recognize any successor or assign of Registry Operator or ICANN unless Escrow Agent receives clear, authoritative and conclusive written evidence of the change of parties. Escrow Agent may not assign or transfer this Agreement without the prior written consent of both Registry Operator and ICANN, which consent shall not be unreasonably delayed or withheld.
(f) Entire Agreement. This Agreement, including all exhibits hereto, supersedes all prior discussions, understandings and agreements between Escrow Agent and the other parties with respect to the matters contained herein, and constitutes the entire agreement between Escrow Agent and the other parties with respect to the matters contemplated herein. All exhibits attached to Appendix 1, specifically, Exhibit A (consisting of Task Order and Statement of Work, File Size Estimates, Table 1, Table 2, and Additional Terms and Conditions), Exhibit B, are by this reference made a part of this Agreement and are incorporated herein.
(g) Counterparts; Governing Law. This Agreement may be executed in counterparts, each of which when so executed shall be deemed to be an original and all of which when taken together shall constitute one and the same Agreement. This Agreement shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of California, without regard to its conflicts of law principles. Except as specifically provided for herein, all of the parties additionally consent to the personal jurisdiction of California, acknowledge that venue is proper in any state and Federal court in California, agree to any action related to this Agreement properly brought in one of these courts, and waive any objection it has or may have in the future with respect to any of the foregoing.
(h) Notices. All notices, requests, demands or other communications required or permitted to be given or made under this Agreement shall be in writing and shall be delivered by hand or by commercial overnight delivery service which provides for evidence of receipt, or mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, postage prepaid. If delivered personally or by commercial overnight delivery service, the date on which the notice, request, instruction or document is delivered shall be the date on which delivery is deemed to be made, and if delivered by mail, the date on which such notice, request, instruction or document is received shall be the date on which delivery is deemed to be made. Any party may change its address for the purpose of this Agreement by notice in writing to the other parties as provided herein.
(j) No Waiver. No failure on the part of any party hereto to exercise, and no delay in exercising any right, power or single or partial exercise of any right, power or remedy by any party will preclude any other or further exercise thereof or the exercise of any other right, power or remedy. No express waiver or assent by any party hereto to any breach of or default in any term or condition of this Agreement shall constitute a waiver of or an assent to any succeeding breach of or default in the same or any other term or condition hereof.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF each of the parties has caused its duly authorized officer to execute this Agreement as of the date and year first above written.