New gTLD Registries Allowed To Register 100 Domains To 3rd Parties Before Sunrise For Promotion

The Qualified Launch Program (QLP) Addendum is available for new gTLD registry operators as of 10 April 2014. The QLP Addendum allows a registry operator to register up to 100 domain names to third parties prior to the Sunrise Period for purposes of promoting the TLD, under certain conditions. These domain names are added to the 100 domains that the registry is allowed for registration for it’s own use.

View the Qualified Launch Program Addendum now [PDF, 63 KB]

The Qualified Launch Program Addendum is intended to provide a

mechanism for Registry Operators to register a limited number of names to third parties to promote their TLDs prior to the Sunrise Period, while maintaining safeguards against intellectual property infringement.

According to the QLP Addendum, if a domain name matches a label in the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH), the domain name may be registered to a Sunrise-Eligible Rights Holder, as defined in the TMCH Requirements. If a domain name does not match a label in the Trademark Clearinghouse, the domain name may be registered in a Qualified Launch Program to any third party.

Names may also be registered to public authorities under the Qualified Launch Program, subject to certain requirements.

After review and analysis of the community’s input during the public comment period, the draft Qualified Launch Program Addendum has been amended to:

  • incorporate additional elements into the category of names that can be registered to public authorities.
  • expand the eligibility to issue public authority names (e.g., eliminate the requirement that the TLD must have been found to be a geographic name according to the definition of the Applicant Guidebook).
  • clarify the reporting requirements for QLP names.

According to section 4.5.1 of the RPM Requirements [PDF, 589 KB], if a Qualified Launch Program is developed and approved by ICANN, ICANN will prepare an addendum providing for the implementation of such Qualified Launch Program, which will be automatically incorporated into these TMCH Requirements without any further action of ICANN or any registry operator.

Accordingly, new gTLD Registry Operators are now permitted to have a Qualified Launch Program in accordance with the terms of the approved Qualified Launch Program Addendum, and will not need to seek ICANN’s approval to implement a Qualified Launch Program.

A registry operator wishing to take advantage of the Qualified Launch Program may do so after delegation of the TLD and before the end of the Sunrise period. Registry Operators intending to use the Qualified Launch Program should inform ICANN as part of their TLD Startup Information package.



About Konstantinos Zournas

I studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London, UK and I am now living in Athens, Greece. I went online in 1995, started coding in 1996 and began buying domain names and creating websites in 2000. I started the blog in 2012.


  1. *

    This type of backhanded behavior is going to kill the new gTLD space, which, quite frankly, has already been weakened.

    I’m done with new regs in this new space.


  2. Are you saying the companies releasing the gtld’s themselves are setting up shell companies to secure their over allotment of higher profile names for these such extensions? A bit confused, if this is the case, this would explain why these same people keep getting these similar names each round, with shell companies. What is up with Warren Accountants out of the UK anyone?

    • This not what I am saying but it could happen.
      Registries can register up to 100 domains for their own use.
      They can reserve all they want.
      But now they can also allow 3rd parties to register (or get for free) 100 additional domains.

      If the registries don’t want to be using more than 100 domains I don’t think they will use the shell companies.
      They can reserve any domains they want and sell them after general availability.

      But this program allows 3rd parties to be using domains before even sunrise has began.

      I believe that Warren Accountants (and other fake companies) are exploiting a registrar sunrise glitch.
      I am just finishing the “What Box” article. Warren is next.

  3. 100 ??? lol .. this stinks like insider deal .. 5 would be more as enough for comercial
    its so strange, we are going into the future but it feels like roman business

    its going harder and harder for domainers .. lets see what comes next

  4. Thanks, for the insight, and keeping on top of these so called fictional gtld cartoon characters.

  5. Already noticed the crazy number of pre-registered/withheld names that weren’t on the collision list.. And it stinks.

  6. Yeah “T”… You would think they knew better. Check out the registrations. A lot are under privacy.

  7. Konstantinos

    What is your take on the following, taken from the Uniregistry Whois?

    This is a look-up of one of the domains I was looking for as soon as Tattoo went live. I am perplexed to see that it has now been registered by a third party company that is based at the same premises as Uniregistry! The premium sale for this domain is of course being handled by …. DomainNameSales

    Be interested in your point of view.


    Domain Name: ******.TATTOO
    Registry Domain ID: ******
    Registrar WHOIS Server:
    Registrar URL:
    Updated Date: 2014-04-15-T*****
    Creation Date: 2014-04-15-T*****
    Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2015-04-15-T*****
    Registrar IANA ID: ****
    Registrar Abuse Contact Email:
    Registrar Abuse Contact Phone: +1.9494785380
    Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited
    Domain Status: clientRenewProhibited
    Domain Status: clientUpdateProhibited
    Domain Status: clientDeleteProhibited
    Registry Registrant ID: *****
    Registrant Organization: NORTH SOUND NAMES
    Registrant Street: 30485 SEVEN MILE BEACH
    Registrant City: GRAND CAYMAN
    Registrant State/Province: GC
    Registrant Postal Code: KY11202
    Registrant Country: KY
    Registrant Phone: +1.3457475465
    Registry Admin ID: UNIREG_Z4EJRHGF
    Admin Organization: NORTH SOUND NAMES
    Admin Street: 30485 SEVEN MILE BEACH
    Admin City: GRAND CAYMAN
    Admin State/Province: GC
    Admin Postal Code: KY11202
    Admin Country: KY
    Admin Phone: +1.3457475465
    Registry Tech ID: UNIREG_Z4EJRHGF
    Tech Organization: NORTH SOUND NAMES
    Tech Street: 30485 SEVEN MILE BEACH
    Tech City: GRAND CAYMAN
    Tech State/Province: GC
    Tech Postal Code: KY11202
    Tech Country: KY
    Tech Phone: +1.3457475465
    Name Server:
    Name Server:
    DNSSEC: unsigned
    URL of the ICANN WHOIS Data Problem Reporting System:

    • I am not sure I understand.
      Was this domain reserved by Uniregistry and it’s now active?

      NORTHSOUNDNAMES.COM was registered on 2014-04-09 at Uniregistry.

      Do you mind telling me what the domain name is. I will know in a few hours anyway…

  8. I’m referring to the domains we all wanted on the first day of .Tattoo availability.

    As you may recall, you wrote an article about a bunch of us rushing out to register .tattoo domains as soon as they were available only to find that…our expectations weren’t met, from what we heard from Uniregistry before they went live versus what was actually available.

    We were told that the reasons that names weren’t available varied, including Michael Berkens saying it was our own faults as we should have checked the collision lists etc before relying on commercial businesses to do what they’re paid to do.

    Well, I was after a number of geo-domains which were unavailable on the day of release, including It turns out that these domains (amongst many others it seems) have since been registered to the above company having been held off from the marketplace.

    Given that the above named company cannot be found on the web, has the same address as Uniregistry and refers all sales opportunities through to Uniregistry’s affiliated Domain Name Services, I’m extremely curious as to what has happened and I reckon you’re the only journalist who can get to the true answer.

    • Yes I remember.

      And I get what is going on here. I was thinking about this after I wrote this article. These 100 domains are only helpful before sunrise.
      I was thinking: “What is stopping registries to release and immediately register themselves (with shell companies) all the reserved domains?”
      But why would they do this since they can already sell the domains to anyone they want and at any price?
      There are both pros and cons in doing this…

      Good catch Tim.

  9. Uniregistry is reserving more than 1,000 per gTLD for themselves, so this 100 max thing is bogus: I complained to ICANN and they gave me a convoluted response defending Uniregistry. However, I recommend filing a complaint with ICANN nonetheless:

    • Eric these 100 max are before sunrise for 3rd parties.
      There are another 100 that each registry can register under their name for their own use.
      And there is the infinite number they can reserve.
      ICANN will not help you because it’s all in their contracts.

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