Tired of trying to find ".COM" domain names? New domain name extensions including ".[your trademark here]" likely available in 2009.

Beginning in 2009, the amount of “real estate” available on the web (in the form of available domain names) will likely increase substantially. Currently, only 21 “top level” domain names (such as .com, .org., .net) are available for registration. However, as a result of the internet governing body’s recent policy decision, domain name extensions such as .[your name here] and .[your trademark here] will soon be available for registration. 

On June 28, 2008, ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) met in Paris and affirmatively approved a sub-committee’s recommendation to expand the availability of “generic” top-level domains (“gTLDs”). It is unclear at this point what the process will entail, but based on the subcommittee’s recommendations, it is expected to involve an application/registration process (expected to begin in the first quarter of 2009) and a period for objection. 

Early reports indicate that business names and trademarks will not automatically be reserved. As such, in order to ensure protection of your brand, it is advisable for you to consider (i) registering a top level domain name incorporating your business or brand name, and/or (ii) actively monitoring the applications for domain names during the to-be-determined “objection” process to prevent squatters from hijacking your company name or brands. For more detailed information concerning ICANN’s policy implementation regarding gTLDs, see http://www.icann.org. Stay tuned for further developments regarding this groundbreaking expansion of the internet. .