Upon launch, new gTLDs will follow a cycle of different launch phases. While all TLDs will need to start their launch with a Sunrise phase for trademark owners, there’s more flexibility with the following phases. Below we have mapped a typical launch cycle you will likely see in most TLDs:
The Sunrise Period is a limited pre-registration period and is the mandatory first phase of all new gTLDs. The Sunrise is the right period to register brand names as domains.
All registries are required to have a Sunrise Period open only to holders of a validated trademark record in the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH). Some registries may also offer an additional Sunrise Period with alternate requirements. Regardless of the Sunrise type, a separate Sunrise Fee will be applied per domain.
Sunrise periods will in most cases include an auction process, while some will be offered on a “first-come, first-served” basis.
When Sunrise registrations are allocated through auction, this is known as an End‐Date Sunrise. Domain applications will be gathered throughout the Sunrise period and then registered at the end of the period. Domains with multiple applications will be allocated through auction at the end of the Sunrise period. This Sunrise must last at least 60 days and can be launched without advanced notice.
In contrast, a “first-come, first-served” Sunrise, also referred to as a Start-Date Sunrise, must last at least 30 days in length, and the dates of every Start-Date Sunrise period must be announced at least 30 days in advance.
Registries have the option of including a Landrush period in their launch timeline, though this phase is not mandatory. Landrush is the right time to register very important names, which are not or cannot be trademarked.
The Landrush period follows Sunrise. Though requirements vary from registry to registry, during the Landrush phase registration is usually is open to everyone, but domains are offered at a higher than regular price. Domains may be allocated through auction or on a “first-come, first served” basis during Landrush.
Each registry reserves the right to reserve high value or “Premium” domains and to sell or auction those domains at elevated prices. The reserved terms, pricing, requirements, and allocation methods will vary per registry. As a result, not all premium domains will be offered through QuantmWeb.
General Availability / Trademark Claims Period:
The General Availability phase follows all Sunrise and Landrush periods. This is the open-ended phase where the TLD is available on a “first-come, first-served” basis to the general public.
During the first ninety (90) calendar days after General Availability opens for each new gTLD, registries must provide Trademark Claims. The Claims Period cannot overlap with the Sunrise phase.
Trademark Claims is a notification service –mandated by ICANN for all new gTLDs – to warn both domain name registrants as well as trademark holders of possible Intellectual Property infringements. The service works as follows:
- A potential domain name registrant gets a warning notice when attempting to register a domain name that matches a trademark term in the TMCH.
- If, after receiving and accepting the notice, the domain name registrant does continue to register the domain name, the trademark holder with a corresponding mark will receive notification of the domain name registration, so they can take any appropriate action if they would like to.