The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) posted the list of new gTLD applicants and applications today. ICANN received a total of 1,930 new gTLD applications.
Many companies such as Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Wal-Mart filed applications. Among the Canadian applicants are Rogers (for .FIDO and .CHATR), Shaw Cablesystems (for Shaw) and the registrar Tucows (for .GROUP, .MARKETING, .MEDIA and .ONLINE).
The applications will now be evaluated by the expert panels selected by ICANN and the initial results are expected to be released in December 2012 or January 2013. There will be a testing phase for the new domains that are approved and ICANN expects that new domains will not go live until mid-2013.
Today also marks the opening of a 60-day comment period, during which anyone may submit comments on any application for the evaluation panels to consider. As well, if anyone believes they have grounds to formally object to an application, there is a seven month period during which they may file an objection.
Trade-mark and business owners should review the list of new gTLD applications to consider if they want to submit comments or file an objection during the period for doing so.
Trade-mark owners should also monitor the status of the Trademark Clearinghouse services. The Trademark Clearinghouse will serve as a repository for information regarding trademarks to be authenticated and validated by the service provider selected by ICANN – Deloitte Enterprise Risk Services. All new gTLD registries will be required to use data from the Clearinghouse to ensure that trademark rights protection mechanisms are implemented during a new gTLD start-up period.
All in all, this marks a historic day for the domain name landscape and the beginning of some very interesting and challenging times.