The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”) has publicly revealed the applied for generic top level domains (“gTLD”). A gTLD is the letters that appear to the right of the “dot”, such as .com, org or now .apple, .hotel, and .bank.
A review of the list of applied for gTLDs which can be found here reveals that over 1000 applications were made, of which many are duplicates for the same generic words such as .movie which, by way of example, is the subject of 8 applications.
The objection period is now open and will remain open until January 12. Trade-mark rights holders should take this opportunity to review the list of gTLDs and consider filing legal rights objections to any gTLD that contains, or may be confusing with, the rights holder’s common law or registered trade-marks.
Some of the factors a rights holder should consider with regard to filing an objection are:
- Is the gTLD identical or similar, including in appearance, phonetic sound, or meaning, to your mark(s)?
- Is there recognition in the relevant sector of the public of the mark corresponding to the gTLD, as the mark of your organization, of the gTLD applicant or of a third party?
- Is the applicant for the gTLD commonly known by the mark corresponding to the gTLD?
- Is the applicant’s intended use of the gTLD likely to create confusion with your mark(s) as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the gTLD?
- What is the Applicant’s intent in applying for the gTLD?