Elaine Pruis, Vice President, Operations at Donuts Inc, clarified why Donuts is delaying the release of 2-character domains until September and how the 2 character domains will be treated in regards to sunrise claims.
Elaine Pruis made a comment on a post I wrote about Donuts Releasing The 2-Character Domains On September 9th:
Konstantinos, thank you for sharing the information about Donuts’ release of the “name collision” and two-character names. The intentional hold on the release of two character names is due to three reasons:
1) There remain a few outstanding approvals from ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee on certain two-character names, and more time will allow greater potential resolution of those names;
2) It will be easier for the marketplace to address the release of two-character names at once rather than releasing them sporadically; and
3) most importantly, according to ICANN’s rights protection mechanism requirements, the names will pass through the 90-day trademark claims period, and opening claims at the same time for all names reduces confusion and eases customer communication for registrars (note that two character names are treated differently from collision names, which are exempt from claims).
I hope this information helps.
As I found out 2-character trademark holders could not apply for any domain names during the sunrise phase because ICANN had initially reserved all 2-character domains. (Neither could 1-character trademark holders but that is not changing.) So the trademark clearinghouse had no reason to open applications for 2 character domain names.
But that has changed now. There will be a 90-day sunrise phase (has it started already?) specifically for these domain names.
Donuts is also delaying the release of 2-character domains because a lot of country codes are included in this list. Not all countries have replied yet if they allow their respective ccTLDs to be sold as domain names in the New gTLD namespace. Many ICANN comment periods are still open. So Donuts will wait for all comment periods to close and then release all 2 character domains in one batch.
I checked my notes from Domaining Europe in Valencia and I found that I was told from a Donuts representative that 2 character domains were not accepted by the trademark clearinghouse (correct) and there wasn’t going to be a sunrise for them (not correct). Maybe she confused 2-character domains with 1-character domains or maybe I misunderstood. Anyway, 1-character domains were not and will not be part of any sunrise phase.
Other collision names (not 2-character domains) where included in previous sunrise phases and everyone that applied will now receive their domain names as Donuts has started releasing collision domains last week.