The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”) has proposed a program for expansion of the Generic Top-Level Domains that will allow registration of potentially hundreds of new domain names on the Internet.
This proposed program will result in "a massive increase in the 'real estate' of the Internet," according to Dr Paul Twomey, President and CEO of ICANN. Any organization will be able to apply to reserve for registration any string of letters as a gTLD, including non-Roman characters, resulting in potentially hundreds of new gTLDs and significantly altering the Internet landscape.
Public comments are welcomed and encouraged by ICANN, and both critics and proponents of the proposed program say that community input is vital to the success or failure of the program. ICANN’s next open meeting, the 34th International Public Meeting, is scheduled for March 1 – 6, 2009 in Mexico City.
This client advisory, prepared by Kelley Drye’s IP and Advertising Law practices, provides an overview of the program, its potential impact, and the implications for trademark and brand protection costs.
This advisory was also featured in Linex Legal's Internet and E-Commerce publication directory.