Written by Geri Haight
Last year, the Internet Committee for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization responsible for the coordination of the global Internet domain name system, announced a plan to bring sweeping changes to the Internet’s generic top level domain (gTLD) structure. Internet users are familiar with gTLDs, if not by name. gTLDs are Internet extensions such as .com, .org and .net found at the end of a domain name. Under the new system, a business could apply to own its .BRAND. An automobile company could apply to own .CARS. A city government could apply to own .CITY. The possibilities, seemingly, are endless.
ICANN received over 1900 applications for new gTLDs during the first application period, which is now closed. Google announced last week that it had applied for the gTLDs .GOOGLE, .YOUTUBE and .LOL among others. Canon Inc. announced that it has applied for the gTLD .CANON in order to “increase the convenience and effectiveness of its online communications.” The domain name registry Donuts Inc. announced that it has applied for 307 new gTLDs. The timeframe and process for reviewing the applications are somewhat fluid but the first new batch of gTLDs is slated to become active in early 2013. The remaining batch of applied-for gTLDs will not go live until 2014 or later. So who else applied for new gTLDs? Find out tomorrow. June 13th is Reveal Day -- the day that ICANN is scheduled to publish a list of all applied-for gTLDs.
What should trademark owners do now to prepare for the new regime?
Click here for a list of five things to consider now to protect your brand in the brand new domain name world.