ALL ABOARD… The IDN Fast Track

In addition to Egypt, Russian Federation, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia which had successfully completed the second phase of the IDN Fast Track Process earlier this year, ICANN announced today that China, Hong Kong, Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Tunisia have also successfully completed the second phase.

ICANN‰Ûªs IDN Fast Track Process was approved by the ICANN Board at its annual meeting in Seoul, South Korea in October of last year. The Process was designed to enable countries and territories to submit requests to ICANN for IDN ccTLDs, representing their respective country or territory names in scripts other than Latin.

Understanding how, where, and what to register in these new ccTLD IDNs presents a whole host of new issues many of which have been overshadowed until now by the anticipated launch of the new gTLDs.

As with similar types of launches in the past, many of these ccTLD registries may allow for special Sunrise and “Grandfather periods so that owners of trademarks and existing IDNs are given priority over others to register exact matches in the new offerings.

Registration periods for these new IDN ccTLDs will likely occur later this year and brand owners should begin preparing now by reviewing international trademark portfolio holdings and identifying important brands that should be promoted and protected.

To date ICANN has received a total of 19 requests for IDN ccTLD(s) in the Fast Track Process representing 11 languages.”