New top-level domain names (gTLDs): What's all the talk about?

Iowa Intellectual Property Dickinson Law Firm Des Moines, Iowa

Posted on 01/27/2012 at 11:19 AM by The Newsroom

On January 12, 2012, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”) began accepting applications for its new top-level domain (“generic TLD” or “gTLD”) program.  ICANN is a non-profit corporation headquartered in Marina del Ray, California, and oversees a number of Internet-based tasks, most notably the coordination of the global Internet’s system of unique identifiers for protocol addressing.  The current list of gTLDs includes just 18 entries, the most common of which are .com, .net, and .org.  ICANN’s new gTLD program offers the opportunity, until April 12, 2012, for organizations worldwide to apply for the right to operate a new gTLD of their choosing and introduce it for use on the World Wide Web.  Applications come at a hefty price, though – the filing fee alone is $185,000.  Following the close of the submission period, ICANN will conduct an administrative review estimated to take eight weeks and then will publicly post portions of all applications considered to be ready for evaluation.  Once posted, ICANN will host an open comment period to allow for public review and comments.  During the comment period, trademark owners may raise comments/concerns on trademark infringement, dilution and other issues.  Separate from the open comment period, a formal objections process will also be available to trademark owners.  So far, more than 100 groups have declared intentions to apply, and it is likely many more are waiting in the wings.  Some new gTLD initiatives that have already been declared include .shop, .africa, .california, .movie, .hitachi, .ski, .hotel, .bank, .money, and .health.  The new gTLDs are expected to be available for use early in 2013.

 

 

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