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New gTLD Timeline Announced and .XXX Approved

ICANN Board has announced its intention to approve the New generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) Program at a special session on June 20, 2011 at the ICANN Singapore Meeting.

The approval of the Guidebook assumes the release of an updated Guidebook on April 15, 2011. A draft timeline of dates was also made available.

Based upon these new dates, the application period could begin at the end of October, given the requirement of (at-least) a 4-month communication period. As many companies have been waiting for more definitive timelines before proceeding with their new gTLD plans, resources for assistance with strategy and application development may soon become scarce.

Even though MarkMonitor has been critical of components of the Program at times, we strongly recommend that companies who intend to apply begin finalizing commitments for support from trusted and experienced providers.

In other news, ICANN also approved the resolution to instruct the ICANN CEO to sign the contract with the ICM Registry for .XXX. Although there were a number of abstentions, the resolution passed with a vote of 8-3

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