Thursday, July 24, 2008

ICANN means YOU CAN!

On the 26th June 2008 ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) decided that it would open up Top Level Domians (TLDs) so that anyone could apply to operate a TLD. In theory you will be able to have nearly anything as a TLD for example a www.xybc.law domain, .firm or .brand.

The expectation is that the first applications will be received in the second quarter of 2009 and the first sunrise periods will occur at the beginning of 2010.

A sunrise period is the period before a new TLD goes live when Trade Mark owners and well established businesses have a preferential rights to purchase a domain name which incorporates that trade mark/name. However, this is still a first come first served basis. Ie Nestle, Volkswagen and Ralph Lauren all want ‘polo’ domain names.

Most commentators are of the view that .com will remain the TLD of choice and is still the best brand for companies. However, new TLDs will mean there will be further similar domains coming into existence and brand owners should look to acquire new domian names for their brands utilising the Sunrise Periods to prevent others from registering them and thus diluting their brands.

I expect you will have read about the much publicised www.narnia.mobi dispute.

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