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Revision as of 23:07, 30 October 2015 by Jackie Treiber (talk | contribs) (Added note about Uniregistry's use of EAP.)
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UR logo v-rgb.jpg
Type: Corporation
Industry: Internet/Registry
Founder(s): Frank Schilling Bret Fausett
Headquarters: Governors Square Unit 3-110
23 Lime Tree Bay Ave. Grand Cayman 1361GT-KY11108
Country: Cayman Islands
Website: uniregistry.com
Key People
Frank Schilling, Managing Director
TLDs: 23
Registrations: 308,026

More Info: nTLDStats

Uniregistry is a new registry operator established and managed by a group of Internet and domain name industry experts. The company's technical infrastructure was designed and subsequently purchased from Internet Systems Consortium (ISC), a non profit organization dedicated to developing and distributing open source software worldwide, and involved in the development of DNS, DNSSEC, IPv6, and BIND.

The company was officially launched on June 11, 2012 and it is headed by its Managing Director Frank Schilling, one of the longest serving participants in the commercial, for profit, arena of naming.[1][2] The original trademark application for Uniregistry, however, was filed in 2010, and the domain name was registered in 2006 by Bret Fausett, who also registered the .net, .org, .info, and .biz versions the following year.[3]

In February, 2012, it was noted that a related company, Uniregistrar, had become an ICANN accredited registrar, signaling that Uniregistry had intentions to sell its New gTLDs in house. Uniregistrar was launch under the licensed Uniregistry brand name in March 2014.[4]

New gTLD Applications

At the time of the company's launch, Schilling refused to reveal the exact number and names of the domain name strings the company applied for. According to him, the gTLDs were selected by the company's founders, and he was confident that the gTLDs would be successful. He said, "We strongly believe in the gTLDs we have chosen and are 100% committed to their long-term success. These new names look better, sound better, and represent a big opportunity for brands to market themselves on the Internet in a different way."[5]

Just prior to reveal day, Schilling confirmed that he invested $60 million in his company and is pursuing 54 gTLDs. He publicly announced his bids for .lol and .home, saying that he knew that both strings would be highly desirable and that he thinks they would definitely be auctioned by ICANN. Google had previously announced its application for .lol, and GoDaddy and other companies applied for .home. Schilling said that his company will try to acquire the strings through auction.[6]

Uniregistry is the operator of the following TLDs:

.audio, .auto, .blackfriday, .cars, .christmas, .click, .country, .diet, .flowers, .gift, .guitars, .help, .hiphop, .hosting, .juegos, .link, .lol, .mom, .photo, .pics, .property, .sexy, .tattoo,


In December 2013, Uniregistry announced a unique Sunrise Period system for they gTLD applications the company had succeeded in winning. There would be two Sunrise Periods, known as Sunrise A and Sunrise B. Sunrise A would be the regular period involving the Trademark Clearinghouse and mandated by ICANN, in which trademark owners could apply for their trademark's corresponding TLD. Sunrise B would allow trademark owners to apply for SLDs that do not exactly match their trademark and may "span the dot", as in ''toms.tattoo" for the trademark "Tom's Tattoo".[7]

As the first two Uniregistry New TLDs, .sexy and .tattoo, became generally available in February 2014, many Domain industry members noticed that some of the leading Registrars were not selling these TLDs. Companies such as GoDaddy and Register.com did not initially sign up to sell these TLDs because Uniregistry's Registry-Registrar Agreement would require Registrars to provide real names and contact info to Uniregistry.[8] By the end of 2014 more than 150 registrars worldwide including all major registrars had signed Uniregistry's agreement and were retailing Uniregistry extensions. Uniregistry's registrar has grown quickly and been lauded as a generational leap forward in the management of domain names.

In a blog post dated October 28, 2015, writer Kevin Murphy revealed that the registry would start an Early Access Launch model for some of the TLDs it provides back-end, technical support for.[9]

Company Values

Uniregistry's management and operations is guided by the following values: [10]

  • Liberty & Fairness
  • Responsible Stewardship
  • Technical Excellence
  • Ease, Simplicity and Elegance

Uniregistry promised that its management will be "registrant-centered." The company ensures that the reliability and security of its infrastructure is of high technical standard and uncompromised, its policies and processed is transparent and neutral, and that they will have stable and predictable service as well as fair pricing.[11]

Uniregistry on Private Auctions: Illegal?

In March 2013, the ICANN community and its new gTLD applicants and their representatives responded to news that Uniregistry had learned from the U.S. Department of Justice that Private gTLD Auctions would be potentially illegal and could be prosecuted as "bid-rigging." The practice in question is illegal in various countries and largely related to government contracts, when bidders for multiple contracts may collude to each submit one high-ball bid for different jobs, thereby guaranteeing that they will each receive the project where they were able to submit the lower bid. The practice inflates the price paid for work obtained via bidding processes. The ICANN process is notably different in the fact that ICANN has expressly noted that it prefers not to receive funds via auction and prefers applicants to reach agreements among themselves. However, it is not up to ICANN whether or not charges are pressed, and the Department of Justice (DOJ) apparently has told Uniregistry that, "no private party, including ICANN, has the authority to grant to any other party exemptions to, or immunity from, the antitrust laws. The decision means that the Department of Justice reserves its right to prosecute and/or seek civil penalties from persons or companies that participate in anti-competitive schemes in violation of applicable antitrust laws."

The announcement from Uniregistry was decried by prominent supporters of private auctions, such as Michael Berkens of the auction services provider Right of the Dot, while other community members, such as Antony Van Couvering of Minds + Machines, corroborated Uniregistry's statements and the stance of the Department of Justice.[12] It has been noted that Uniregistry has never supported private auctions, and it has arguably come to the conclusion that it stands a better chance of winning contention sets against other large portfolio applicants, such as Donuts and Top Level Domain Holdings Ltd., if those applicants are not allowed to receive funds through lost auctions.

Commentators have noted that the DOJ could just as easily prosecute the ICANN Auctions of Last resort, though ICANN would have significant funds obtained via these auctions and the application process to defend itself via legal proceedings.[13]

Management Team

UniRegistry's team include: [14]