You may recall our earlier posts describing the gTLD process (see: The New gTLDs: Who, What and When).
ICANN’s process introduces new generic Top-Level-Domains (or gTLDs), expanding the domain name system from the current familar strings such as .com, .net and .ca, etc. to who knows what… .flowers, .lawyers or .anything. The application period was due to close on April 12, 2012. May 1, 2012 was slated as “Reveal Day”, when the applicants and their proposed TLDs were to be published. So far, some 2,091 applications along with USD$350 million in application fees have been submitted to ICANN. The May 1st deadline has passed without the publication of the application information, because ICANN has suffered a “software glitch” which must be resolved before the application period can be reopened and finalized.
Once that is complete, ICANN will publish the names of applicants and their proposed TLDs. This triggers a seven-month objection period, during which rightsholders can file a complaint. A recent article from Managing Intellectual Property reports that the “Trademark Clearinghouse” is also behind schedule.
Even if half of the applications are approved, that means the introduction of a thousand new generic Top-Level-Domains. Trade-mark owners, brace yourselves.
Related reading: Lawyers Weekly: Domain Name Article