As expected, the ICANN Board of Directors voted to approve the New Generic Top-Level Domain Name Program at its annual meeting in Singapore. ICANN has postponed the application period, however. ICANN will accept applications between January 12 and April 12, 2012. Before the meeting, the application period was expected to open in November 2011 and close in February 2012. This postponement will give ICANN more time to market the New gTLD opportunity to its numerous stakeholders.
It is hoped that allowing Internet domain names to use any words, in any language, will foster new creativity and economic growth for both commercial and non-profit Internet enterprises.
For additional detail, please see our Legal Alert from last week, reproduced here.