ICANN Domain Expansion: What You Need to Know to Protect Your Brand

With the coming proliferation of new domain sites now authorized by ICANN, business owners need to be proactive in protecting their online presence. Read what lawyers and law firms on JD Supra recommend to stay safe.

ICANN Approves Historic Plan for New Top Level Domains (Davis Wright Tremaine LLP)

“Under the new gTLD program, entities can register and control the gTLD for generic words such as .radio, .music or .birds, or for company names or trademarks, such as .microsoft. For the first time, ICANN is also going to allow applications for Internationalized Domain Names or IDNs, consisting of non-Latin characters such as Arabic or Chinese, and including accent marks on Latin letters as used in various European languages.” Read more » 

ICANN Formally Adopts New Generic Top-Level Domain Name Program, Postpones Application Period (Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP)

“As expected, the ICANN Board of Directors voted to approve the New Generic Top-Level Domain Name Program at its annual meeting in Singapore. ICANN has postponed the application period, however. ICANN will accept applications between January 12 and April 12, 2012. Before the meeting, the application period was expected to open in November 2011 and close in February 2012. This postponement will give ICANN more time to market the New gTLD opportunity to its numerous stakeholders.” Read more »

Brand Owners Prepare! ICANN Approves Seismic Shift of Internet Proportions by Expanding Generic Top-Level Domains (Bracewell & Giuliani LLP)

“In view of this unprecedented expansion of Internet real estate, brand owners will need to ensure that their trademark rights are protected in each new gTLD. Moreover, brand owners may need to consider stepping up their trademark enforcement and monitoring practices to respond to the exponential growth of second-level domains that can be used for counterfeiting and other nefarious activities.” Read more »

ICANN Approves Plans To Launch New Top-Level Domains; Sets January 12, 2012 Start Date (Ropes & Gray LLP)

“’New gTLDs will change the way people find information on the Internet and how businesses plan and structure their online presence,’ ICANN said in a press release on its website. Expanding the domain name space will offer ‘organizations around the world the opportunity to market their brand, products, community or cause in new and innovative ways.’” Read more »

A New Domain Name System Is Coming. Are You Ready? (Mintz Levin)

“Currently, there are 22 gTLDs but soon there could be thousands. Under the newly-announced system, domain names will be able to end with almost any word in any language. The system would give organizations and businesses globally a new means of marketing their brand, products, services and causes. ICANN predicts that ‘[v]irtually every organization with an online presence could be affected [by the new system] in some way.’” Read more »

.anything On Its Way: New Generic Top Level Domains Will Launch January 12 (Reed Smith)

“The nightmare of many brand owners fearing that ICANN would adopt a system of unlimited gTLDs is now reality. This is a dramatic change to the domain name system…Under the new guidebook, organizations located anywhere in the world will be able to apply to operate a gTLD that corresponds to just about any word or phrase, including an organization’s name or brand.” Read more »

New Global Level Domain Names Approved By ICANN (Baldwins)

“Any person or entity will be able to own and administer a gTLD. The privilege is not expected to be cheap, with estimates of the initial filing fee being approximately USD 185,000 and overall costs for the first 18 to 24 months estimated at between USD500,000 and USD1,000,000, once examination and opposition costs are taken into account.” Read more »

Protecting your Brand in the .xxx Domain (Venable LLP)

“In the latest domain-name headache for brandowners, .xxx has been approved by ICANN as a new generic top-level domain, on the same plane as .com, .net, .org, .mobi, .info, and etc., but this one is for adult content. The adult entertainment industry, trademark holders, and even some countries objected to the creation of the domain. Although no adult content is currently available in the domain, several countries have already announced their intention to block the .xxx domain.” Read more »

How to Protect Your Brand From Incursion by Adult Entertainment Sites (Lane Powell PC)

“This new Web suffix is being called ‘the most significant Web suffix since .com was launched back in 1985.’ Although targeted at the adult entertainment industry, trademark owners outside of that industry will have the opportunity to safeguard their marks from use as a .xxx domain.” Read more »

Trademark Owners: Consider Pre-Reserving Your .XXX Domains Now! (Foley Hoag LLP)

“The .xxx domain, intended to serve as an Internet ‘red light district’… will likely go live later this year. In the meantime, ICM Registry has opened a ‘pre-reservation period’ for interested members of adult entertainment industry, and for trademark owners in other industries…[T]here is a significant risk of valuable brands being associated with such ‘undesirable’ content. The pre-reservation service, located at http://domains.icmregistry.com, allows trademark owners to ‘pre-reserve,’ free of charge, .xxx domains of interest. Read more »

Do You Want Your Name to Be Part of a New .XXX Domain? What Trademark Owners Need to Know (Mintz Levin)

“There is a great deal of controversy and debate among brand owners about how to deal with the issuance of new top-level domains (TLD) by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Should they defensively register all their trademarks under every newly issued TLD to avoid potential problems with cybersquatters or should they refuse to be forced into doing so and just address specific problems when they arise?” Read more »