During today’s new gTLD applicant update webinar, ICANN made some important announcements regarding the timing of upcoming milestones in the new gTLD application evaluation process. Specifically, ICANN stated that Contention Sets would be announced on March 1. This is nearly two months after the most recent date ICANN had put forth for the publication of Contention Sets, which was mid-January. Other milestones seem to be proceeding on schedule, though: Clarifying Questions for non-geographic strings will be issued beginning this Tuesday, January 15, at a rate of 100 per week, in the order of application's Prioritization Draw numbers. The Trademark Clearinghouse will begin accepting trademark registrations in February, and the application evaluation panels are on track to release Initial Evaluation results beginning in late March, as planned.
For a refresher on how Clarifying Questions work, check out the latest video in our new gTLD series, featuring FairWinds Consulting Associate Jen Goldberg.