In an Announcement tonight, ICANN is offering to refund any applicant who has submitted and paid its fee for a new gTLD if they pull their application prior to the Big Reveal.
“”In recognition of the inconvenience caused by the temporary suspension of the TLD application system, ICANN will provide a full refund of the application fees paid by any new gTLD applicant that wishes to withdraw its application prior to publication of the list of applied-for new top-level domain names.”
“A resolution authorizing full refunds was adopted during a Board of Directors workshop in Amsterdam on Sunday, May 6th 2012.”
“Whereas, the TLD Application System (TAS) has been offline since 12 April 2012 due to a technical glitch and the application window will not be closed until TAS reopens for a period of at least five days.
“Whereas, ICANN recognizes that, during the pendency of the glitch, applicants may have re-evaluated decisions to participate in the New gTLD Program.
Whereas, the Applicant Guidebook at Section 1.5.1 sets out a tiered refund schedule in the event that an applicant wishes to withdraw its application.
Resolved (2012.05.06.NG01), the New gTLD Program Committee directs the CEO to offer to applicants a full refund of the New gTLD Application fee actually paid to ICANN if the applicant wishes to withdraw its application prior to the date that ICANN publicly posts the identification of all TLD applications.”
Here is what the announcement did not say:
1. Whether all applicants effected by the “glitch” have been so notified as promised by ICANN on or before March 8th.
2. When the TAS will be back up.
3. When ICANN is planning on posting the “identification of all TLD applications.”
ICANN had previously promised to complete notifying the effected applicants “on or before Tuesday, March 8th”. (as I write this post it is midnight EST March 8th)
As an attorney, I do think its a pretty smart move by ICANN to head off lawsuits by allowing companies to pull their application and get a full refund, although as an attorney I would have liked the announcement better had ICANN clearly stated the date its planning on posting all the applicants information thereby setting a final date for requesting a refund.
Without such an announced date any date 5 days after the TAS system re-opens would be a possible date for ICANN to post the information, thereby closing the refund window.