ICANN | Proposed Unsponsored TLD Agreement: Appendix J (.info)

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Proposed Unsponsored TLD Agreement: Appendix J (.info)

Posted: 2 March 2001


REGISTRATION START-UP PLAN

1. QUEUE SYSTEM

Submission of registrations

On the respective dates on which Afilias begins processing registrations in the Sunrise and Land Rush Periods (each a "Start Date"), the registry will enable registrars to submit their registrations into individual queue databases. The order of the domain name requests in each registrar queue will then be randomized at the registry.

Processing of queued registrations

Afilias 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 registrar, whether such registration request is accepted or not, so long as more than one registrar has requests remaining in its queue. A domain name request will be considered successful if: (i) the submitting registrar has not already submitted a request in that round; (ii) the domain name is available; and (iii) the registrar has sufficient funds in its account for the registration. This round robin process will continue until all domain name requests in each individual queue have been processed.

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

Projected schedules for rounds of registrations

Afilias expects there to be 5 rotations of its round robin registration system for the Sunrise and Land Rush Periods, as follows:

First Rotation: The submission period for the first rotation is scheduled to last 7 days. At the end of 7 days, the individual 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 queues, registrars will submit additional registration requests to their individual queues. After the third day, Afilias will randomize and process the queues as described above. The processing of the second set of 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 queues are being processed, registrars may submit additional registration requests to their individual queues, and these requests will be processed in the same manner as the first and second queues. The processing of the third set of 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 queues will be collected and processed in the same manner as the third set of queues.

After the fifth set of queues has been processed, Afilias anticipates that the volume of registration requests will allow the registry to move to a real-time registration process. Afilias 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 queues, Afilias will not accept additional registration requests for two days. After such two days, when the final set of queues has been processed, Afilias will commence processing registrations in real time as described in Section 4 of this Appendix.

During both the Sunrise and Land Rush periods, Afilias' five-day discretionary cancellation policy will not be in effect. This policy will take effect after the conclusion of the Sunrise and Land Rush Periods and notification to the registrars.

2. SUNRISE PERIOD

Prior to opening the registry for general registration, Afilias will implement a Sunrise Period registration program.

Eligible Parties

During this Sunrise Period, owners of any valid and enforceable trademark or service mark registration having national effect 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. Trademarks or service marks incorporating any design elements are not eligible for registration during the Sunrise Period.

Schedule for Sunrise Period

The Sunrise Period will be conducted as follows:

Announcement Period: At least seventy-five (75) days prior to the commencement of the Land Rush Period, Afilias 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 thirty (30) days, the registry will begin processing domain name registration requests using the 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, Afilias 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. Afilias 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 Afilias: (i) the ASCII character 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 Afilias 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 verification of the asserted trademark rights by third parties. Neither Afilias nor the registrars will verify any of this information prior to issuing a Sunrise Registration, but Afilias reserves the right to refuse or cancel any fraudulent 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 after the submitted registrar pays the registration fees for the registration in full.

Afilias will prohibit the transfer of all domain names registered during the Sunrise Period for a period of one hundred twenty five (125) days following the last day of the Sunrise Period, except for transfers made as a result of a successful challenge, a decision in a UDRP administrative proceeding, or an order from any court of competent jurisdiction. In addition, names subject to one or more pending challenges (see "Dispute Resolution," below) may not be transferred.

Dispute Resolution

A third party may challenge a Sunrise Registration on the following basis: (i) the registrant did not own a valid and enforceable trademark or service mark registration; (ii) the valid and enforceable 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 $250 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 120 day period, parties disputing the validity of a Sunrise Registration must utilize the UDRP or available courts of law.

Afilias, 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 Afilias, in a form determined by Afilias, in which it sets forth the basis of the challenge, specifically identifies the fraudulent registrant by name and assumes a contractual obligation to pay the $250 challenge fee. Afilias will electronically time stamp each request and forward a copy of the challenge to the domain name registrant and the registrar of record. In the case of multiple challenges to a single Sunrise Registration, the first party submitting a valid and complete challenge will be given priority.

2. Following the initiation of the challenge and the notification of the relevant parties, there will be a seven (7) day quiet period in which a fraudulent registrant may elect to delete the domain name registration. During this seven (7) day quiet period, the challenger shall arrange for payment terms of the challenge fee and notify Afilias of such terms. Such terms must be agreeable to Afilias in its reasonable discretion.

3. If the challenger fails to arrange for payment terms in a manner reasonably agreeable to Afilias within such seven (7) day period, the challenge will be dismissed without prejudice, and, if other challenges to the Sunrise Registration remain, Afilias will process the next challenge, as shown by the timestamp on its challenge notice, in accordance with these dispute resolution procedures.

4. Upon arranging payment terms with the challenger, Afilias will send an electronic notice (email and/or facsimile) to the domain name registrant and the registrar of record informing them that the challenge has been completed and will proceed. The domain name registrant will then have seven (7) days to arrange for payment terms of a $250 challenge fee and notify Afilias of such terms. Such terms must be agreeable to Afilias 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 to Afilias.

5. If the domain name registrant fails to arrange for payment terms agreeable to Afilias within the allotted time, or is unable to provide a certified copy of a 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. The prevailing challenger will be refunded the challenge fee minus an administrative processing fee of up to US $75.

6. If the domain name registrant arranges for payment terms agreeable to Afilias and submits the certified trademark or service mark registration within the allotted time, Afilias 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, and will notify the challenger and the registrant of its decision promptly after its resolution.

7. If the domain name registrant's certified copy of its trademark or service mark registration meets the criteria for a Sunrise Registration, then (i) such registrant will retain the domain name registration, and (ii) Afilias will refund the registrant's challenge fee, minus an administrative processing fee of up to US $75. The unsuccessful challenger will forfeit its entire challenge fee.

8. If the domain name registrant's certified copy of its 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, (ii) Afilias will refund the challenger its challenge fee, minus an administrative processing fee of up to US $75; and (iii) Afilias will place the domain name registration on a ten day hold.

9. During this ten-day hold period, Afilias will offer the prevailing challenger the option of registering the disputed domain name on its own behalf. It the challenger elects such option, the registry will give it an authorization code to allow registration of the domain name through an accredited registrar.

10. If the prevailing challenger does not elect 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 a valid 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 it challenge. If no other such challengers exist, the domain name will be returned to the general pool of available domain names in accordance with Afilias' procedures for cancelled domain name registrations.

Outsourcing

Afilias reserves the right to outsource the dispute resolution procedures described in this Appendix J to a third party that, in Afilias' reasonable judgment, is qualified to conduct the dispute resolution process.

3. LAND RUSH PERIOD

Eligible Parties

Afilias 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 .info registry.

Schedule for Land Rush Period

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

Afilias will notify ICANN at least fifteen (15) days before the commencement of the Land Rush Period of its anticipated Start Date for the Land Rush Period. Promptly after recepit of such notice, ICANN shall delegate the Registry TLD within the Authoritative Root-Server System to nameservers designated by Afilias.

Afilias 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 Afilias to conclude its processing of queued registrations. Upon the conclusion of the Land Rush Period, Afilias 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 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, and all new registrations thereafter, will be for a minimum period of two (2) years

Dispute Resolution

All domain name disputes involving registrations during the Land Rush Period will be resolved at the discretion of the disputing parties, whether through use of the UDRP or otherwise.

4. PHASE-IN OF NAME RESOLUTION

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

For Land Rush registrations, the registry will initiate the addition of DNS zone information for such registrations to the master DNS server within 5 minutes of their registration.

5. PUBLIC NOTIFICATION MECHANISMS

Afilias 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 Afilias 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 queue rotations will, at a minimum, be available on the Afilias web site.

6. SUMMARY OF ANTICIPATED SCHEDULE

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

Event

Days Before/After Commencement of Land Rush Period
Sunrise Announcement Date

-75
Sunrise Start Date

 -45
First Round Submissions

-45
Second Round Submissions/Processing of First Round

-38
Third Round Submissions/Processing of Second Round

-35
Fourth Round Submissions/Processing of Third Round

-33
Fifth Round Submissions/Processing of Fourth Round

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

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

-27
Sunrise End Date/Beginning of Sunrise Dispute Resolution

-15
Cooling Off Period Begins

-15
Notice to ICANN of Anticipated Commencement of Land Rush Period

-15
Public 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

125

7. AFILIAS LIABILITY LIMITATIONS

Afilias 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. Afilias shall require all 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 registrars.


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