Are you ready for .anything?
TORONTO, April 17, 2012 /CNW/ - Companies interested in the upcoming change in domain name options should set their sights on May 1st - that's the day the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will post details of the applications.
"May 1st is not just May Day, it's also reveal day," explained John McKeown, Intellectual Property lawyer, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP.
The total number of applicants for generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) will likely surpass 839, however, as each applicant can apply for up to 50 new domain names.
According to Mr. McKeown, companies "must be vigilant" as the new domain names may create branding problems.
"Imagine if an application has been registered for .coffee or .icecream," Mr. McKeown noted. "This could create havoc for companies best known for selling these products."
Brand owners, Mr. McKeown stated, should:
- Monitor the marketplace and closely follow the activities of competitors as there may be situations where the use of a new gTLD can give a competitive advantage.
- Monitor applications for new gTLDs and consider initiating dispute resolution procedures if legal rights are infringed.
The good news is that ICANN will publicly post the domain names and the names of applicants on May 1, 2012 - and that's when protests can be registered. ICANN designed the process to prevent cyber squatting by setting domain name registration fees at $185,000 and adding background checks.
"Many companies will be unhappy with the new domain names and I believe we'll see lots of oppositions to the proposed names," added Mr. McKeown.
In the past, ICANN limited websites to 22 options, including .com and .org or country specific domain names such as .uk or .ca.
About Cassels Brock
Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP is a leading Canadian law firm focused on serving the transaction, advocacy and advisory needs of Canada's most dynamic business sectors. One of the largest business law practices in Canada, the firm represents multinational, national and mid-market entities and is dedicated to providing value-driven advice in the areas of intellectual property, securities and corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, advocacy and dispute resolution, corporate and commercial law, tax, real estate and international business. The firm is regularly named at or near the top of Canadian and international corporate finance and M&A league tables, including Bloomberg, Thomson and MergerMarket, particularly in the mining sector, having acted on many of the country's largest natural resource deals in recent years.
For further information:
To interview John McKeown please contact:
Teresa Donia, iAMBIC Communications, 905-508-5550 or [email protected]