An eagerly awaited list of applications for new generic
top-level domains (gTLDs) was recently revealed, disclosing 1930 applications for a wide variety of
potential new gTLDs. These ranged from multiple applications for
expected gTLDs such as .app and .shop, to more unexpected gTLDs
such as .sucks and .webcam.
The number of applications is particularly surprising given the
USD 185,000 fee per application. Indeed, it appears over USD 350
million was spent on application fees by applicants, including USD
18.6 million for 101 gTLDs by Google and USD 56.8 million for 307
gTLDs by Donuts, a
venture capital and private equity backed start-up.
Now that the applications have been published, the public has
approximately seven months to object on four separate bases:
An applied for gTLD string is confusingly similar to an
existing top-level domain (TLD) or another applied for gTLD.
An applied for gTLD infringes the existing legal rights of the
The applied-for gTLD string is contrary to generally accepted
legal norms of morality and public order that are recognized under
principles of international law.
There is substantial opposition to the gTLD application from a
significant portion of the community to which the gTLD string may
For most organizations, the second basis will be the most
relevant and organizations should consider promptly reviewing (or
instructing external counsel to review) the list of applications to
identify potentially problematic applications. This is particularly
relevant for organizations that may be already aware of concurrent
use of the same trade-mark or trade-name by businesses in different
The window for objecting has not yet been finalized, but
it's currently anticipated "to be seven months
[long], from approximately June 13 to January 13, 2013."
Organizations should promptly review the list of applied-for new
gTLDs to assess whether an objection to an application is
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