{ Banner Image }

Top-Level Domain Names: Protect Your Rights

top-level domain namesIn 2011, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) removed most restrictions on the names of generic top-level domains.  A top-level domain name is the letters after the “dot” in a website address.  The most common top-level domains are “.com” and “.org”.  Internet domains can now be any phrase and contain non-Latin characters (for example, Chinese, Arabic, etc.).

From January 12, 2012 until May 30, 2012, companies could apply for a new top-level domain by paying a fee of $185,000.  On June 13, 2012, ICANN published a list of top-level domains that companies from all over the world have applied for as part of the expansion of generic top-level internet domains.  Currently, there are only 22 “generic” top-level domains, but ICANN received applications for over 1900 new top-level domains.  Some examples include “.app,” “.home,” and “.law.”

Why is this significant?

For a short period of time, ICANN is permitting the public to comment or object to any proposed generic top-level domain.  Companies may object to a domain because it could create a competitive threat to their business, cause market confusion, or potentially violate their legal rights.  Specifically, companies with strong or emerging brands should review the list of over 1900 proposed generic top-level domains in order to make sure their rights and business interests will not be violated.

Click here to view the full list of proposed generic top-level domains.

There are very specific procedures to comment or object to a proposed top-level domain.  Please contact us for more information on how to protect your brand and legal rights.

Categories: Domain Name Registration, Intellectual Property

Photo of Nicholas M. Oertel

focuses his practice in the areas of Michigan non-property tax disputes, business entity selection, corporate transactions, and information technology.

View All Posts by Author ›

Type the following characters: niner, tango, mike, tango

* Indicates a required field.