As part of a process that will see the introduction of new
privately operated generic top level domain names (the right-hand
most portion of a domain name; "gTLDs"), on June 13,
ICANN, the company that oversees the Internet's domain name
system, published a list of the top level strings that have been
applied for and the identity of the applicants. Applicants have
paid an application fee of $185,000. The list is interesting to
review. There are a surprising number of banks and other large
institutions listed. For example, www.barclays.com could become
www.chequing.barclays, www.savings.barclays, www.investing.barclays
The request for gTLDs by many companies might be prompted by
internal networking and security advantages, rather than pure
marketing, as the original dot-com domains were used for at the
turn of the millennium.
Third parties now have an opportunity to object to any of the
applied for strings on the basis that:
the string is confusingly similar to an existing top level
domain name or applied for string;
the string infringes the existing legal rights of the objector
(either registered or unregistered);
the string is contrary to generally accepted legal norms or
morality and public order that are recognized under principles of
international law; or
there is substantial opposition to the application from a
significant portion of the community to which the string may be
explicitly or implicitly targeted.
Rights holders and other interested parties are encouraged to
review the list and consider whether one of these grounds of
opposition is triggered by any of the applications.
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A recent Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench decision allowed a court-appointed receiver to sell and transfer intellectual property rights free and clear of encumbrances, finding that a license to use improvements of an invention was a contractual interest and not a property interest.
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