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June 13, 2012

New generic Top Level Domains are published

Today ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) has published approximately 2 000 applications for registration of new generic Top Level Domains (gTLD). During the upcoming years, these Top Level Domain applications will be reviewed and new Top Level Domains will gradually be launched.

Currently there are about 250 top level domains, a figure that will dramatically increase. Today's top level domains are either country domains such as. se. .dk, .no, .nl and .de or generic international top level domains such as .com, .net, .info and the latest addition .xxx.

The introduction of new Top Level Domains, is a way to increase competition and choice within the top level domain field. While there is an opportunity for companies and organizations to establish its own top level domain, it also means that many companies need to review both their strategies and policies for domain names in order to protect brands and other business interests.

-          There are many different opinions about the new Top Level Domains. For most companies, however, this will involve significant costs and much more work because there will be many more Top Level Domains to keep track of and/or register the domain names under, says Isaac Keren, Trademark Attorney& Domain Name Consultant at Zacco.

Zacco recommends its customers, as a first step, to take the following three actions after the announcement of the new Top Level Domains:

  • Go through the list of applications and identify potential Top Level Domains that can create problems for their own company and brand, and review its options in regards to protecting their interests.
  • Establish a strategy and a policy for how to relate to the various new Top Level Domains that are established both from an IP perspective and from a marketing perspective.
  • Consider registering their (registered) trademarks with the so-called "Trademark Clearing House" which will be created to make it easier for trademark holders to obtain information about domain name registrations that are identical to the mark in the new Top Level Domains.

The complete list is found here: http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/program-status/application-results/strings-1200utc-13jun12-en

For questions on domain names you may consult: Isaac Keren, (Sweden),  Lone Prehn, (Denmark), Anne Wilding,  (Norway),Remy Meeuwse, (the Netherlands), Nils Köster, (Germany).

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