skip to Main Content

ICANN approves to launch New Generic Top-Level Domains

ICANN Programme Gtldn

di Tobias Malte Muller, Federica Togo

ICANN programme gtldnInternet address names will be able to end with almost any word in any language, offering organizations around the world the opportunity to market their brand, products, community or cause in new and innovative ways. ICANN will soon begin a global campaign to raise awareness of the opportunities afforded by new gTLDs. Applications for new gTLDs will be accepted from 12 January 2012 to 12 April 2012. The mere application and registration costs amount to US$185,000 for the application and US$ 25,000 in annual fees (further information can be accessed under The decision to proceed with the gTLD program follows many years of discussion, debate and deliberation with the Internet community, business groups and governments. The Applicant Guidebook, a rulebook explaining how to apply for a new gTLD, went through seven significant revisions to incorporate more than 1,000 comments from the public. ICANN approved its programme after years of intense policy development from stakeholders that at this stage are quite disappointed on the result that came out. Some member of the IP community, in particular Brand owners, claim that the rights protection mechanisms for the new gTLD programme are not effective. It is considered an useless remedy the fact that the Trademark Claims service will run for only the first 60 days of a new gTLD launch and that it does not cover keywords next to trademarks.It could be helpful, if the warning went beyond 60 days and beyond exact match. Another critic concerns the Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) system, designed to take out clear-cut cases of cybersquatting in the new TLDs, that is not considered to be rapid. At the same time governmental institutions said the fee could be prohibitively high for smaller or poorer communities that could theoretically have access to a new gTLD. However, according to ICANN the newgTLD programme will foster diversity, encourage competition, and enhance the utility of the DNS Domain Name System (DNS). It expects around 300 to 400 of these new Top Level Domains to be registered in the next years. Indeed, some international undertakings, like Canon already announced to apply for the TLD .canon. Furthermore, some organizations have been founded with the support of local political bodies to apply for .berlin or .bayern (i.e. Bavaria). However, it will be interesting to follow, if the new TLDs really set a new standard in the internet and if they will actually be limited to the leading, worldwide undertakings.
Back To Top