Last night ICANN published the list of applied for new generic top level domains (new gTLDs). There are 1930 gTLD applications in total. The list can be viewed here. To catch up on the new gTLD program see our previous In Brief article and IP Watch article.
While the publication of the list of applied-for gTLDs is likely to generate concern among brand owners who haven’t been following the application process, now is the time for brand owners to consider the options available to them and formulate strategies.
First, brand owners should review the list of applied-for gTLDs and consider whether:
- any gTLDs are similar to their name or trade marks; and
- they otherwise object to the registration of another new gTLD.
Secondly, brand owners should be aware that until 12 August 2012 comments may be submitted on any gTLD application, for consideration by ICANN’s evaluation panels.
Thirdly, brand owners should be aware of their ability, over the next seven months, to file objections with WIPO against gTLDs that infringe their (trade mark or common law) rights.
Finally, when reviewing the list applied-for gTLDs, brand owners should also consider in which gTLDs it would, in due course, be worthwhile registering their brand as a second level domain (e.g. [corrs].law) even if only to prevent cybersquatters from obtaining that registration. In this regard, brand owners should be aware of ICANN’s proposed Trademark Clearinghouse in which brand owners will be able to register their trade marks to receive the benefits of:
- being able to register a corresponding domain (matching their trade mark) in each new gTLD before registration is open to the public; and/or
- being notified when another person applies for a domain name which is identical to their trade mark.