Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Just terminated: the .QVC new gTLD

Extract from "Registry Agreement between ICANN and QVC, Inc." written by lawyers of QVC, Inc:
"...We write to provide 180 days’ notice that QVC, Inc. (“QVC”) will terminate the Registry Agreement between ICANN and QVC, effective July 30, 2015 (the “Agreement”), pursuant to Article 4.4(b) of the Agreement. Accordingly, the Agreement will be fully terminated on October 9, 2021. 
We note that the “.qvc” Top-Level Domain (the “TLD”) was never used, and the only domain names on the TLD are those that were required by ICANN upon the creation of the TLD – XXX.qvc and XXX.qvc – both of which are owned by QVC. No additional domain names were ever created. Thus, pursuant to Article 4.5(ii) of the Agreement, ICANN may not transition operation of the TLD to a successor registry operator. Additionally, pursuant to Article 4.5(i) of the Agreement, we note that QVC has trademark rights over the name “QVC,” which is also the name of the TLD. A list of the trademark registrations including the name “QVC” owned by QVC, through its wholly owned subsidiary ER Marks, Inc., is attached as Exhibit A".
Extract from the Preliminary Determination by ICANN to Not Transition Operations of the .QVC gTLD (dated: 4 June 2021):
"On 26 April 2021, QVC, Inc. notified ICANN org of its intent to terminate the .QVC Registry Agreement entered into on 30 July 2015.
Pursuant to Section 4.4(b) of the Registry Agreement, Registry Operator may terminate the Registry Agreement for any reason upon one hundred eighty (180) calendar day advance notice.

Pursuant to the terms of Section 4.5 of the Registry Agreement, as modified by Section 6 of the Specification 13 (.Brand TLD Provisions), ICANN org consulted with QVC, Inc. to assess whether to transition operation of the .qvc top-level domain (TLD) to a successor Registry Operator.

Subject to an ongoing evaluation, ICANN org has made a preliminary determination that operation of the .qvc TLD need not be transitioned to a successor Registry Operator. ICANN org’s review and determinations regarding transition to a successor registry are subject to Section 4.5 of the Registry Agreement (as modified for a .Brand TLD). ICANN org’s preliminary determination to not transition the TLD to a successor Registry Operator is based on the following rationale:
  1. .qvc qualifies as a .Brand TLD.
  2. Transitioning the TLD is not necessary to protect the public interest.
In conformance with Section 4.5 of the Registry Agreement (as modified for a .Brand TLD), ICANN org may not delegate the TLD to a successor registry operator for a period of two years without the Registry Operator's consent, which shall not be unreasonably withheld, conditioned or delayed.

Before releasing its final determination, ICANN org will consider input provided by interested parties via email. The deadline to submit input is 04 July 2021 – 23:59 UTC".


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