Buying Generic Top Level Domains and What You Need To Know
The world is entering into a period of great change in the internet domain name space. Approximately 1,400 new generic (and not so generic) top level domains ("gTLDs") will soon be coming online. For trademark owners, this will create potential new opportunities for increasing the scope of their internet presence. However, it will also almost inevitably lead to increased costs and headaches for brand owners in terms of protecting their valuable brands online. There are presently approximately two dozen gTLDs, including .com, .net and .org, as well as numerous country code top level domains, such as .ca, .co.uk and .hk (for Canada, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong, respectively). The new gTLDs that are in the process of being rolled out are of four general types, namely, brand names such as .canon and .chevrolet, geographic locations such as .amsterdam and .seattle, industries such as .software, and generic words such as .shop, .art and .book. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ("ICANN") is in charge of the gTLDs expansion and is expected to begin approving the first of the new gTLDs for use and registration later in 2013. A full list of all of the proposed gTLDs is available here.