1930 applications for new TLDs were filed. Applications were filed for branded TLDs, such as .Hilton and .GAP, for generic TLDs, such as .Shop (http://www.dotanything.co/
Although applications were filed in 2012, the first new TLDs are not expected to launch until 2014. That's because each application for a new TLD must pass a rigorous evaluation process, which includes the following steps:
Administrative Completeness Check – During this phase, ICANN confirmed that all applicants had filled in all required questions and paid all required fees.
Initial Evaluation – During the Initial Evaluation phase, ICANN evaluated every application for financial capability to operate a TLD, technical capacity to operate a TLD, and also evaluated the string itself for stability and operational issues.
Extended Evaluation - The Extended Evaluation phase was only necessary if ICANN required additional time to fully evaluate an applicant or if the applicant failed to pass the Initial Evaluation phase.
Dispute Resolution - Disputes may be filed against an application for a new TLD on four grounds: Legal Rights, Community Objection, Limited Public Interest, String Confusion. ICANN’s Independent Objector may also file a dispute against an applicant.
Contracting – After the applicant has passed through all prior steps in the application process, and any string contention disputes have been resolved, the applicant may be invited to the contracting phase of the Application Process.
Pre-Delegation Testing – Pre-delegation testing may run concurrent with Contracting negotiations
Delegation into the Root Zone – After the Applicant has signed a contract with ICANN, the applicant may request delegation into the Root Zone.
Ramp-up – After the Applicant’s string has been delegated into the Root Zone, the applicant may begin to build up and test the technical infrastructure required to operate a TLD.
Sunrise – The Sunrise phase usually consists of a 30-day period during which Trademark holders may purchase domain names within a given TLD followed by a 30-60 day Landrush Phase during which interested parties may request to purchase a domain name within the given TLD. During the Landrush period, in the event that two parties wish to purchase the same domain name, a bidding process us usually held for the domain name in contention.
General Availability – Domain names are sold to the general public.
Current Status of Legal Rights Objections
During the Dispute Resolution phase of the ICANN application process for new TLDs, objections could be filed against any application for a new TLD. The Objection Filing stage closed earlier this year, so at this point, no new objections can be filed.
Objections were permitted on the basis of four objection grounds from objectors who have standing to object (the criteria for who has standing to object is different depending on the type of objection filed.) Objections could be filed on the following grounds: Legal Rights, Community Objection, Limited Public Interest, String Confusion. ICANN’s Independent Objector may also file a dispute against an applicant.
A total of 69 Legal Rights Objections were filed. Below is a quick snapshot of the current status of the 69 Legal Rights objections that were filed during the Dispute Resolution phase of the ICANN application process for new TLDs.
59 of the Applicants against whom Legal Rights Objections were filed prevailed against the objector
3 of the Applicants against whom Legal Rights Objections were filed withdrew their applications
1 Objection is still in progress
1 Objector withdrew their objection
1 DRSP Terminated Proceedings
4 Legal Rights Objections Prevailed