Applying for a New Top-Level Domain Name — also known as ‘Subsequent Procedures’

Michael Flemming is Brand TLD and Domain Name Policy Consultant at GMO Brights Consulting, Japan

When will I be able to apply for a new generic Top-Level Domain name?

“You may be wondering when you can apply for a new gTLD for your brand name. While you may have heard people say 2019, 2020, or as late as 2022, there is no-one word answer for this. In 2012, ICANN launched the new gTLD Program application period which saw close to 600 companies obtain a TLD for their brand. Before this next opportunity to apply can take place, several reviews of the program and a policy development process (PDP) are necessary. This review process is estimated to last until late 2018 or early 2019. After that the policy must be adopted and implemented by ICANN. While ICANN will not commit to a new application date, we hope by the end of the review process to see signs of an expected date for the next window of gTLD applications.”

What is a PDP?

“A PDP (Policy Development Process) is a process that develops policies for gTLDs. gTLDs are governed by the development of policy by the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO), a supporting organization of ICANN. GNSO policies fashion the rules for how domain names function in gTLDs.  As the New gTLD Program falls under the jurisdiction of the GNSO, the policy development process for new gTLD subsequent procedures will lay out recommendations and advise how future application procedures are implemented and what rules should govern. More information about GNSO PDPs can be viewed here:

How does this relate to applying for a gTLD for my brand?

“This PDP is discussing issues that concern all future gTLDs. That includes dotBands. Within this PDP, issues are discussed in two layers. Overall, there is a working group that reviews all the issues and makes final recommendations. But because the issues being discussed are so vast and detailed, five additional subgroups have been formed, dealing with: (i) overall process of the application program; (ii) legal and regulatory issues that encompasses new gTLDs; (iii) disputes in the form of objections and contention between applicants; (iv) the technical operations of new gTLDs and internationalized domain names; and (v) applied for TLDs matching a geographic name.

The whole working group and the additional subgroups normally meet on a bi-weekly schedule at separate times for each group. After further deliberations, the group will issue a preliminary report and a final report where the ICANN Community and anyone can review and voice their opinion.”

That’s a lot of work. So what are the key issues and how is the BRG actively involved?

“BRG members are not only involved in the PDP process but also have taken leadership positions within the subgroups to forward this work along. The BRG advocates for brand interests and prepared a position paper on key issues. Individual BRG members are encouraged to express their own interests.”

Michael Flemming is Brand TLD and Domain Name Policy Consultant at GMO Brights Consulting, Japan

Michael Flemming