Protecting Your Rights: New gTLD Applications

by Polsinelli

In June 2011, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) approved a program to expand the Internet's domain name system by introducing new generic top-level domain names. The new gTLD application period previously closed, but ICANN recently released the list of over 1900 new gTLD applications. Release of the list is significant as it initiates the public comment and formal objection periods, and businesses and groups should review this list to determine whether any new gTLDs impact their operations. Several technology attorneys at Polsinelli Shughart have been actively involved in the process, including assisting Dot Registry, LLC, with its community based applications for .INC, .LLC, .LLP and .CORP. Dot Registry has worked closely with many Secretary of State's offices (including Delaware) to develop registration policies that call for transparency in reporting and annual verification. A copy of the Delaware Secretary of State's letter to ICANN can be found here.

Public Comment and Formal Objections

Public Comment

For a 60-day period following the release of new gTLD applications on June 13, trademark owners (whether or not they are gTLD applicants) may submit comments regarding approval of a particular new gTLD application. Comments received during the public comment period will be evaluated for relevance, verified for accuracy, and analyzed for meaningfulness. The information will then be used by evaluation panels for consideration in approval of the gTLD application.

Formal Objection

Trademark owners have approximately seven months following the release on June 13 to file a formal objection to an application. Several types of objections are available to be filed. Some formal objections are only available to gTLD applicants while others are available regardless of status as an applicant. The grounds for filing a formal objection are:

  • Legal Rights
  • "String" Confusion
  • Limited Public Interest
  • Community Interest

Please be aware that there are fees associated with filing formal objections, and these fees may differ based on the grounds for objection.

Forthcoming Trademark Clearinghouse

Protecting your trademark and other intellectual property rights is always a top priority, and the eventual launch of the new gTLDs is no exception. In addition to the comment and objection mechanisms, ICANN has announced a forthcoming trademark clearinghouse. The trademark clearinghouse will eventually allow trademark owners, licensees, and assignees to submit documentation of ownership that will be used to support new gTLD rights protection mechanisms.

What Should You Do?

Every business or group should check the list of new gTLD applications to see if any of the applications are the same or similar to your trademark(s) or that are generic for your industry (e.g., .bank, .hospital, .app). Once you have searched the list, if there are applications that cause concerns for your operations, you should consider submitting a public comment regarding the application and determine whether you have any grounds to file a formal objection keeping in mind the relevant timeframes.

For More Information

If you have questions about the new gTLD applications, public comments, formal objections, the trademark clearinghouse or other intellectual property protection issues, or if you would like assistance regarding any of the foregoing, please contact:


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.

© Polsinelli | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Polsinelli on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.