From March 11-16, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) hosted the ICANN76 Community Forum in Cancún, Mexico. With 196 sessions, the first public meeting of 2023 gathered more than 1,800 participants to push forward topics of Internet community-wide interest in several working groups.

In order to have an impact on these processes, LEMARIT has been on site as usual with a team of three and was represented by Martin Kuechenthal (CEO and Founder), Zornitsa Kuechenthal (Senior Project Lead, dotBRAND), and Neli Marcheva (Senior Product Manager, Registry Services).

The world of ICANN is also a world of technical and political terminology full of abbreviations. We shed light on the highlights and present the two most important take-aways from the meeting.

Step by step towards new gTLDs – and thus also dotBRANDs

It has been more than ten years since the first round of the new gTLD program was launched in 2012, resulting in the introduction of over 1,000 new gTLDs such as .app, .blog, and .club.

As with many new developments, the first round revealed some weaknesses in the process that required amendment. Consequently, the new gTLD program is undergoing an update since several years: New global privacy regulations (e. g., the General Data Protection Regulation), evolving technologies, increases in overall costs of services, incorporation of lessons learned by ICANN org from the first round, and new criteria and requirements from the output of the Subsequent Procedures (SubPro) working group Final Report are to be considered.

During the last day of ICANN76, the ICANN Board of Directors took a huge step ahead to the next round of new gTLDs. A comprehensive implementation plan – containing a work plan, timelines, and anticipated resource requirements to announce the opening of the next round of new gTLDs – has to be provided no later than August 1, 2023. US$9 million are recommended to cover the implementation costs through that date.

The delivery of the implementation plan requires collaboration between the ICANN community, Board, and org and marks a great step to open the next round of new gTLDs. This development also brings potential dotBRAND customers one step closer to their own TLD.

Neli Marcheva, Martin Küchenthal and Zornitsa Küchenthal

Whois Disclosure System is now Registration Data Request Service

In May 2018, IP owners and service providers had lost an important tool for fighting brand abuse on the web due to the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation, and the accompanying redactions of WHOIS data. Since back then it has been the intention to establish a new system to provide access to non-public registration data related to generic top-level domains (gTLDs).

Already on February 27, 2023, the ICANN Board of Directors adopted a resolution directing the ICANN org to develop and launch the Whois Disclosure System, now known as Registration Data Request System (RDRS), within the next 11 months. ICANN org was asked to operate the system for up to two years from the date of launch, involving both registrars/registries and requestor’s sides. The criteria that will be used to judge the success of the system were discussed during ICANN76.

During the mentioned period of two years, the RDRS will be put through its paces to collect and report on usage data. In the future, the RDRS is to pass on requests for registrant data for the approximately 1,500 gTLDs to the registrars.

As the de facto guardian of our customers’ brands, we expressly support the current developments regarding the launch of the RDRS. The potentially better access to registration data puts us in a better position to protect intellectual property and to give back to our customers what belongs to them.

Further information

Any questions about our involvement with ICANN or our LEMARIT Registry Services? Are you interested in applying for your own TLD or do you want to learn about other options to control your brand?

Feel free to contact us!