/ICANN & New gTLDs
ICANN & New gTLDs 2016-02-02T15:46:48-05:00


In June 2011 the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ Board of Directors authorized the launch of the New gTLD Program. The new program will expand the roughly two dozen gTLDs currently available (.com, .org, .net, etc.), to possibly hundreds. Any established public or private organization that meets eligibility requirements can apply to create and operate a new gTLD Registry. An applicant for a new gTLD will create and operate a registry business supporting the Internet’s domain name system. The application window was open from January 2012 through April 2012.

Brand owners seek broad trademark protections in new generic top-level domain names (gTLDs) to protect their customers, who are vulnerable to harms stemming from domain name abuse including brand confusion, misdirection, and fraud. If consumers are not protected against such harms, they will lose trust in the Internet, which would be detrimental to businesses. Trademark owners have incurred huge costs in dealing with domain name registrations in the few gTLDs approved to date.

IPO members include some of the best-known brand owners in the world, who have a significant interest in the rules, requirements, and processes for safeguarding brand owners during the launch of any new gTLD registry. IPO has participated actively in the public dialog with ICANN about problems that could be encountered by trademark owners as new gTLDs are introduced, expressing particular concern about the massive costs associated with defensively registering key brands at the second level.