The .app generic top-level domain (gTLD) launches March 29, 2018, and brand owners will have a little more than a month to register domains in the Sunrise Period. After May 1, 2018, registration of .app domains opens to the general public.
While the industry shares mixed feelings about the value of registering and maintaining gTLDs, .app domains will likely be of special interest to developers. .app is being offered as a secure option for promoting your mobile apps online (and will require HTTPS configuration). It can be used to provide download links, to deep link or share screenshots and release notes.
Registration won’t be restricted to particular industries, so brand owners who have submitted their trademarks to ICANN’s Trademark Clearinghouse can register their marks as second-level domains—also known as SLDs, for example YOURMARK.APP—during the Sunrise Period between now and May 1. If you would like to lock in a .app domain featuring your trademark (or prevent others from doing so) but have not yet submitted your mark to the Clearinghouse, you should do so as soon as possible, as the process can take time.
It’s expected that Google will launch a .dev gTLD in 2018 as well. Until then, .app domains will be available for registration at minimal cost. Fenwick is a registered Clearinghouse Agent and can help guide you through the process of submitting your mark to the Clearinghouse, and/or registering your mark as a SLD. We’re also happy to assist with developing and implementing a strategy to protect your rights in this greatly expanded online landscape.