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IP: Wrong turns and other directional changes on the road to new gTLDs

The process and evaluation parameters for requesting gTLD application changes may not be as straightforward as they seem

In “IP: 3 tips for navigating ICANN’s new gTLD roadmap,” we showed you the contours of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’s (ICANN) new “roadmap” for its New gTLD Program. Now we explore ICANN’s directions for applicants that have made a wrong turn or two on this long and winding journey.

On Sept. 5, ICANN announced the process and evaluation parameters for applicants to request changes to their applications. While some wrong turns are mistakes that require a simple U-turn to get back on the right road, others are more fortuitous, providing shortcuts and back ways to reach the same destination. ICANN’s limited guidance on the change process leaves open the question of whether applicants can use the process strategically or tactically.

Applicants thinking of seeking an amendment should also bear in mind that while they have an affirmative duty to “promptly” notify ICANN if any previously submitted information becomes untrue or inaccurate, according to Section 1.2.7 of the Applicant Guidebook, seeking changes means delay. ICANN has not limited its time to evaluate amendments—and it plans to hold amended applications for at least 30 days before passing them to the next phase to allow for public comment. ICANN also reserves the right to require re-evaluation of materially amended applications.

Making a U-turn or Charting a New Route?

Contributing Author

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Daniel Frohling

Daniel D. Frohling is a partner in the Chicago office of Loeb & Loeb LLP, where he leads the firm’s gTLD Development and...

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Contributing Author

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Jessica Lee

Jessica B. Lee is an associate in Loeb & Loeb’s New York office, where she litigates and counsels clients in the areas of...

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