A top-level domain is the part of an Internet address appearing to the right of the last period. A generic top-level domain (gTLD) is a top-level domain that is not a geographic or national designation—“.com,” “.org,” and “.net” are gTLDs. Formerly gTLDs were limited to a relatively short list of three-letter combinations, but the Internet Corporation for Adopted Names and Numbers is in the process of freeing gTLDs from those restrictions. The new gTLDs open up endless possibilities for new domain names—and new opportunities for infringement and cybersquatting of trademarks. As new gTLDs are being approved and opened to the public, the Trademark Clearinghouse has been established to help trademark owners protect their trademarks from infringers and cybersquatters in the new gTLDs.
New Generic Top-Level Domains Have Been Approved This Year, and More Are Coming -
Earlier this year, the first new batch of new gTLDs opened, allowing web addresses ending in “.bike,” “.clothing,” “.guru,” “.holdings,” “.plumbing,” “.singles,” and “.ventures.” More new gTLDs are expected by the end of the year. Although the release of new gTLDs expands the market for domain names and makes domain names more descriptive, each new gTLD creates potential problems for trademark holders—namely, infringement and cybersquatting in each new gTLD.
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