March 29, 2012
Special Counsel Harry Glazer, recently attended the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' (ICANN) 43rd Public Meeting in San José, Costa Rica with Alexa Raad, CEO of Architelos, a consulting and managed registry services company relating to top-level domain names. With ICANN’s new generic top-level domain name (gTLD) application period closing April 12, meeting attendees buzzed with anticipation regarding the endless possibilities for new gTLD strings such as .music, .bank, or any number of corporate or brand TLDs (.brand), and the tremendous impact that new gTLDs will have on how marketers, advertisers, and businesses connect with consumers.
Mr. Glazer, a veteran of the technology sector and venture capital financing, observed the following from the ICANN meeting:
"There is an exceptionally high-level of entrepreneurial and innovative thinking taking place with respect to ICANN's restructuring of the Internet. Business-savvy individuals are fully aware of the opportunities that will unfold on May 1, when ICANN reveals the roster of applicants and new gTLD strings.
The advent of new gTLDs, whether subject matter (.sports) or brand-specific (.canon), has the potential effect of revolutionizing the Internet by capturing a defined online audience in a clearly designated Internet space. The days of worrying about your organization's message or campaign 'falling on deaf ears' may soon be over."
ICANN's launch of new gTLDs is becoming ever more a reality. Here are some key dates that every brand owner should know, regardless of whether your organization is applying for a gTLD or not.
- March 29 – User registration closes for ICANN's online TLD Application Systems (TAS)
- April 12 – Application window closes for new gTLDs
- May 1– ICANN approximates that public portions of new gTLD applications will be published
- May 1 – June 30 – Period for the Internet community at-large to review and submit comments on posted gTLD applications
- May 1 – December 1 – Period for filing formal objections to new gTLD strings (includes Legal Rights Objections based on existing intellectual property rights)
- October 2012 – Trademark Clearinghouse is expected to begin accepting submissions from trademark holders
- January 2013 – Estimated date for successful gTLD strings to go live, beginning the period for post-delegation Rights Protection Mechanisms such as Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS), Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution (PDDRP), and Registry Restrictions Dispute Resolution (RRDRP).
Attorneys in Kelley Drye & Warren's Intellectual Property and Technology Litigation practice group are experienced in addressing gTLD and domain name issues and are available to assist clients in developing brand protection strategies and handling Legal Rights Objections, Trademark Clearinghouse submissions, and post-delegation Rights Protection Mechanisms.