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Lead Networks Files for Arbitration

On Friday, 24 July 2009, Lead Networks Domains Pvt. Ltd. ("Lead Networks") began the process of commencing an arbitration proceeding with the American Arbitration Association ("AAA") challenging ICANN’s decision to allow the RAA to expire without renewal because of Lead Networks’ failure to comply with the requirements of its RAA [PDF, 74K].

In its filing to initiate arbitration, Lead Networks requested that ICANN and the arbitration panel stay the non-renewal until an arbitration decision is rendered. Although Lead Networks allowed the RAA to expire before seeking to arbitrate, ICANN has determined that a temporary stay is warranted in this case to protect affected registrants and users. Lead Networks will be reinstated as a registrar effective Tuesday, 04 August 2009.

Guidance is provided below for registrants who may be affected by this arbitration action.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How are registrants affected by Lead Networks’ arbitration filing?

A. Your domain names will remain with Lead Networks until the arbitration panel renders its decision or until you choose to transfer your domain name. In other words, during the arbitration, Lead Networks will operate as an ICANN-accredited registrar pursuant to the RAA and shall be required to comply with all contract provisions, the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy ( "UDRP"), and the transfer policy.

Q. What happens if I have a pending UDRP administrative proceeding involving a domain name sponsored by Lead Networks?

A. Continue with the proceedings, as you do not need to do anything additional right now. Lead Networks will continue to be obligated to perform under the RAA and, thus, will be required to enforce the decision once panel provides its ruling.

Q. What happens if I won a UDRP administrative proceeding involving a domain name sponsored by Lead Networks?

A. In accordance with the RAA, Lead Networks is required to enforce the arbitration panel’s decision unless the registrant provides evidence of a lawsuit against the complainant in a court of mutual jurisdiction within 10 business days of the issuance of the UDRP decision. If Lead Networks has not enforced the decision, please immediately submit a report pursuant to the UDRP Intake Report System at Please be sure to complete all fields and follow all prompts.

Q. What action is ICANN planning to take?

A. During the arbitration process, ICANN intends to aggressively defend its decision not to renew the RAA with Lead Networks.

Q. How long will it take to complete the arbitration?

A. Arbitration is unpredictable. ICANN hopes and will request that the arbitration panel conclude the arbitration as quickly as possible, but it could be several months before an arbitration decision is rendered.

Q. What affect does the arbitration filing have on ICANN’s previously announced bulk transfer process?

A. ICANN will continue to complete the process pursuant to the De-Accredited Registrar Transition Procedure (posted at [PDF, 119K]) in order to be prepared to authorize a bulk transfer of the names upon conclusion of the arbitration, if necessary and such a transfer would promote the community interest.

Q. I have read everything above, but still have some questions about my domain name. Whom should I contact?

A. You should contact Lead Networks first with any issues. If you are still not able to get answers to your questions, please contact ICANN’s contractual compliance team at

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Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."