Managing Your Brand Online - Historic Expansion of the Internet Domain Name System

On June 20, 2011, the International Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers ("ICANN") approved the launch of a new class of generic top level domains ("gTLD's") (i.e., the string of letters to the right of the dot in a domain name, such as .com, .net and .gov) that may change the landscape of how we search for information on the Internet.

Currently there are only 22 gTLD's in addition to about 250 country code top level domains, such as .eu (European Union), .ca (Canada) and .jp (Japan). At this time, if an organization wants to create a website, it contacts a domain name registrar to acquire ownership of a second level domain (i.e., the string to the left of the dot) in connection with one of the existing top level domains (e.g.,

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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