• On June 20, 2011, the Board of Directors of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) approved a plan to launch a new system that will substantially increase the number of generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs). The new system will allow brand owners to register their own gTLDs – such as “.brand” – and may allow hundreds of new domain names based upon generic terms like “.travel”, “.bank”, and “.nyc.” ICANN will accept the first round of applications from January 12, 2012, to April 12, 2012, and many of the new gTLDs are expected to go live later in 2012. Rod Beckstrom, ICANN’s President and Chief Executive Officer, is touting the new gTLD system as an opportunity “to better serve all of mankind.” Some companies worry, however, that the new system will create new and additional opportunities for cybersquatters and will force companies to register many more domain names solely for defensive purposes. ICANN’s Applicant Guidebook includes several mechanisms – including sunrise periods and a Trademark Clearinghouse – that will help companies identify potential infringement and enforce their rights. The policies outlining the new program are available in ICANN’s gTLD Applicant Guidebook, available here.