ICANN 45 - Toronto

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Dates: October 14-18, 2012
Location: Toronto
Host: CIRA
Venue: The Westin
Harbour Castle
Website: toronto45.icann.org

ICANN 45 was held in Toronto, Canada, between October 14th and 18th, 2012. It was hosted by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, the organization that manages Canada's .ca domain name registry as well as implements policies which support Canada's Internet community.

Topics of discussion centered around the roles of the Security, Stability, and Resiliency of the DNS Review Team (SSR RT) and Whois Policy Review Team (Whois RT), as well as reviews of ATRT implementation, and new gTLD issues including application processes, information about second rounds, and impacts on stakeholders and constituencies. Also discussed were rights protection issues, including URS updates and Trademark Clearinghouse updates, operating plans and budgets, DNS abuse and data protection, GNSO issues, and strategic planning ideas for 2013-2016.[1]

The event drew in 1,800 participants from around the world, making it the second largest ICANN meeting in history.[2]

Major Events

Fadi Chehadé's Opening Speech

The event began with an overview from ICANN's new CEO, Fadi Chehadé, where he outlined his plans, organizational changes, and the organization's strengths and weaknesses.[3] He noted that "ICANN cannot continue operating like a start-up", that the organization needed to stop managing defensively, and that progress must be seen on long-standing problems such as Whois. He also unveiled a new ICANN online portal, MyICANN.[4] He said in an interview that he would become personally involved in the discussion on the Registrar Accreditation Agreement and the Trademark Clearinghouse.[5] It was Chehadé's first meeting as ICANN's CEO.

In an open letter to the community, Chehadé shared a 12-point plan which can be seen here of what he hopes to accomplish between ICANN 45 in Toronto and ICANN 46 in Beijing 2013. Among others issues to be addressed, Chehadé lists the following as top priorities[6]:

  1. "Operational excellence" under his new leadership as ICANN's "highest priority";
  2. ICANN's delivery "on every aspect of the new gTLD program launch next year" through the creation of a new gTLD servies department and the implementation of Trademark Clearinghouse;
  3. A community effort to resolve longstanding issues of the Whois debate;
  4. A plan to "reach consensus on a solid and enforceable Registrar Accreditation Agreement that is fair and balanced."

Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) has been developed by ICANN as a rights protection mechanism that will be used for gLTD registrations. It has been envisioned as a “one-stop-shop” for trademark data and as such will have several important functions, specifically: to perform verification of trademarks, to maintain a database of this information, and to support rights protection mechanisms of new gTLDs. On June 1st, 2012, ICANN announced that they would be working with Deloitte and IBM (which in turn subcontracted IPClearingHouse) to provide the TMCH services in support of the new gTLDs.

Trademark Clearinghouse

Trademark Clearinghouse(TMCH) was developed by ICANN as a rights protection program used for new gTLD registrations. Discussions at ICANN 45 centered around implementation details; information about new each registration will be checked against TMCH for infringement, and when flagged, both registrant and affected party will be informed so that appropriate action can be taken. Decisions on criteria for checking the registrations were not determined at the meeting, though it is known that both registrars and registries must take note of the check before new TLDs can launch.[7]

Deloitte and IBM were chosen by ICANN to implement Trademark Clearinghouse, and a presentation given by a member of Deloitte covered the following points:[8]

  1. One has to be a mark holder or an agent of a mark holder to be eligible for registration with TCMH, with appropriate proof necessary.
  2. Domain names applied for must be identical to the trademark, with the exception of certain special characters that can be spelled out in text, omitted, or replaced by a hyphen.
  3. Disputes will be resolved through notices to registrants and mark holders when there are discrepancies in applications. Discrepancies and disputes can come about when applicants do not agree with verifications, third parties don't agree with verifications, or third parties have additional information that will impact a valid trademark record.


After initially rejecting a random lottery drawing to decide the order of batching and implementing new gTLDs, as of the ICANN 45 meeting, ICANN once again proposed the random draw, to be held on December 17th, 2012. They also extended the objection period from its former deadline of January 15th, 2013 to March 13th, 2013,[9] despite objections from GAC.

Standing independently from the lottery, Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) will remain the first to be processed and delegated, in an effort to further diversify the internet.[7]

New gTLD Program Updates

Kurt Pritz provided some updates on the new gTLD program.

  • GAC Early Warnings should be expected shortly after the close of the meeting.
  • No contracts or delegations will be made before the next ICANN meeting, in Beijing.
  • Seven applicants have withdrawn their applications, zero objections have been filed in the objection process, and there have been 127 change requests. Of those change requests, 29 have been approved, 84 are in review, and 14 require follow-up with applicants.
  • String similarity will be analyzed in November.
  • The geographic names review was currently being analyzed, and announcements were expected on November 26th.
  • The Clarifying Questions test pilot had been run, with questions and survey having been sent on August 31 to various applicants, and responses due on September 17. The following stats were received: 72 percent of the respondents said the 6000 character limit was enough to answer the questions; more than half of respondents, 61 percent, said the financial and technical CQs were clear; some of the feedback included using bullet points instead of paragraphs, and for ICANN to disclose current scores and provide sample LOC and answers that meet requirements; and more than half said that two weeks was not enough time to respond to the CQs.
  • Applicants to the Applicant Support Program were currently being analyzed by a five-member panel.
  • EBERO, the emergency back-end registry operator, was currently being developed by ICANN. They are planning for there to be three or four EBEROs to represent North America, Europe and Asia.[10]

GAC Participation

As opposed to holding its general meetings with other supporting organizations and advisory committees within ICANN, the GAC has created more personal meeting time. This was done in an attempt to coordinate all of its GAC Early Warnings related to ICANN's gTLD expansion program. They will hold a meeting with the heads of other advisory bodies rather than the entire groups.[11]

At the meeting, the GAC signaled that it would not recommend to the ICANN Board to extensively reserve Intergovernmental Organizations' names on new gTLDs. There was some concern that the GAC would make recommendations similar to those made by the U.N. and related agencies, which call for protections of any organization on the "6ter" list of Paris maintained by WIPO, and contains 1,100 strings in total. The GAC advice calls for protections of any organization registered on the .int TLD, a little-used space for IGOs. That TLD only has 166 registrants.[12]

Elected Officials



October 13

October 14

  • Newcomer sessions, open to all
  • GNSO working session, open to all
  • ALAC and Regional Leadership Working Session
  • GAC Working Group Sessions

October 15 - Welcome Ceremony and Public Workshops

  • Formal opening of the meeting
  • Public Workshops
  • Joint SO Meetings

October 16 - Stakeholder Day / Constituency Day

  • GNSO Stakeholder Group and Constituency Meetings
  • ALAC Policy Discussions
  • GAC Meetings
  • Joint SO/AC Meeting
  • ccNSO Meetings
  • Music Night

October 17 - Workshop Day

  • GNSO Council Meeting
  • Various Workshops
  • Reviews
  • ccNSO Meetings
  • Gala Event

October 18 - Public Forum

  • Morning Workshops
  • Reports
  • Public Forum
  • Board Wrap-up/Toronto Review
  • ICANN 45 Wrap Up Cocktail[1]


Platinum: Verisign, CIRA

Gold: Afilias, .org, Neustar, CONAC, CNNIC, Beanfield Metroconnect

Silver: Iron Mountain, DotAfrica, InterNet X, Community.asia, .sx, .quebec, .pw, AFNIC, HiChina, ENom, Donuts, CentralNic, Ascio, ARI Registry Services

Bronze: Uniregistry, RU-CENTER


External Links