New gTLDs: Threats to and opportunities for brand owners

11 November 2010

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has decided to allow for the registration of new generic top level domain names (gTLDs).

This presents the opportunity for brand owners to:

  • register a gTLD for their brand name and manage all second level domain names that fall within it (such as “.canon”);
  • join a group registration for a gTLD (such as “.bank” or “.melbourne”); and
  • register second level domain names for their brand name within newly created gTLDs.
The new gTLD program also exposes brand owners to the risks that:
  • another gTLD may be registered for or incorporating their brand name; and
  • infringers seeking to profit by misleading internet users will register second level domain names incorporating brand names in the new gTLDs (and the increase in the number of gTLDs will correspond to an increase in the number of potential infringing domain name registrations available).

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