You’ve probably heard by now that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has opened the first application round for new generic top-level domain names (gTLDs). What this means is that your organization can apply for virtually any domain name extension. For example, Canon is planning to apply for .canon, California has apparently announced its intention to apply for .california, and the American Bankers Association is reportedly considering .bank. There will no doubt also be applications for many other “.brand” gTLDs as well as industry keywords such as .travel, .music and .lawyer.
Your decision whether to apply for a gTLD for your brand will likely be significantly affected by the costs of a gTLD registration. The application fee is $185,000 and the maintenance fees associated with operating a new gTLD registry are predicted to be between $500,000 and a million dollars over the first two years. Applying for a gTLD solely for defensive purposes is therefore likely to be cost prohibitive — and may also be unnecessary given the opportunity to object to third party applications (more on that below).
However, your focus on the new gTLD program cannot end here. Trademark owners have an active duty to monitor their brand, and for better or worse, the new gTLDs represent a whole new territory that needs to be policed.
So, how should trademark owners brave this new world?
Please see full article below for more information.
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