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ICANN Declares June 13 ‘Reveal Day’ for Applied-for Generic Top Level Domains

Intellectual Property & Technology Alert
June 14, 2012

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) declared June 13, 2012 “Reveal Day” for the list of applied-for generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs). These new gTLDs will have a significant impact on advertising strategies and conducting business on the Internet.

ICANN, the organization that regulates the Internet domain name system, has made available to the public a list of applied-for new gTLDs strings. The gTLD applications are subject to a comment and objection period as defined below.

Comment Period: The application comment period for the published list of applied-for gTLDs opened June 13, 2012. Any interested party may submit comments for 60 days from this date.

Objection Period: The objection period for the published list of applied-for gTLDs also opened June 13, 2012, and ICANN intends for it to remain open for seven months. There are four grounds for objecting to an applied-for gTLD:

  • The applied-for gTLD is confusingly similar to an existing TLD or to another applied-for gTLD.
  • The applied-for gTLD violates an objector’s legal rights (e.g., it may be advisable for brand owners to challenge a particular gTLD if it appears to cause a likelihood of confusion with a trademark or service mark, or is otherwise objectionable).
  • The applied-for gTLD is immoral or against public order.
  • There is substantial opposition to the gTLD application from a significant portion of the community that the gTLD targets.

A panel of experts with experience in relevant subject matter will review all objections.

Hodgson Russ can assist you by offering advice concerning:

  • Whether or not an applied-for gTLD is likely to cause confusion with your trademarks or service marks, or isotherwise objectionable.
  • How to protect your trademark, service mark, or other rights with respect to potentially objectionable gTLD applications.
  • The preparation and filing of comments and objections to applied-for gTLDs.