As ICANN struggles to get its application system back online, companies have begun lining up to make a profit off of the peculiarities of the application process itself. Pool.com, a domain name drop catch service provider, has recently announced a “Digital Archery Service” which, it claims, can help gTLD applicants get their applications into the top of the application queue (or into the first “batch” of applications to be processed by ICANN).
As previously posted, ICANN is planning to use a “batching process” to review gTLD applications. While the time frame is somewhat fluid, the first batch of new gTLDs are slated to become active in early 2013. Applicants in subsequent batches will be forced to wait until 2014 or later to see their gTLD go live. Thus, getting into the first batch of 500 applications is expected to reduce the wait time for gTLD review, approval and launch by up to a year or more.
Not surprisingly, Pool’s services come at a price. Pool charges $25,000 to get an application into the first batch. The charge for getting an application into the top 50% of all batched applications is $10,000. If Pool is unsuccessful in getting the application into the top 50% of all applications, there is no charge.
Given the extended time frame facing applicants in the second or third gTLD application batch, trademark holders may determine that securing a place in the first batch is worth the $25,000 price tag attached.