Posted by Sequel on June 14, 2012
Topic: ICANN, Internet, Trademark
Nearly 2,000 Applications for New gTLDs

The world is going to get more complicated.  Instead of the Internet-universe mainly being defined by .com, net, and .org, potentially thousands of new top-level domains, known as TLDs, are going to be added.  The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”) has posted information about applications to establish new TLDs. The $185,000 price tag for applications didn’t seem to slow interested parties down – an amazing 1,930 applications were submitted, including in some cases multiple applications for the same string.  The list can be viewed here.  Here are some interesting facts about the applications:

  • Google alone applied for 101 domains through an entity called “Charleston Road Registry Inc.,” including “google” and “youtube,” as well as many generic words such as “earth,” “free,” “fun,” “kid” and “mom.”
  • As expected, some of the applications were for brand names, such as “bananarepublic,” “cisco,” “chanel,” “ferrari,” “goodyear,” “merck,” “microsoft” and “yahoo.”
  • There were 66 applications for geographic locations, including “berlin,” “london,” “miami,” “moscow,” “nyc” and “paris.”
  • Domains with multiple applicants included words such as “app,” “art,” “baby,” “blog,” “eco,” “health,” “inc,” “movie,” “tickets” and “web.”
  • 116 of the applications were for internationalized domain names (“IDNs”) – domains in non-Latin, local language characters.
  • More statistics can be found here.

Next, the applications will be subject to a 60-day public comment period and an approximately 7-month opposition period.  In addition, the applications must be evaluated by ICANN.  Because of the large number of applications received, ICANN has announced that it will evaluate them in batches.  ICANN (somewhat optimistically) predicts that some new TLDs will become active in early 2013.  Sequel will continue to monitor this process.

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