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The New gTLDs Are Here!

June 26, 2012

In June 2011, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) approved a program to expand the Internet’s Domain Name System through the introduction of new generic Top-Level Domain Names (gTLDs). What exactly is a gTLD? A gTLD is an Internet domain name extension such as .com, .net, or .gov. The window to apply for a new gTLD closed on May 30, 2012.

On June 13, 2012, ICANN published the list of applied-for new gTLDs, which include .bank, .car, and .restaurant. You can see a complete copy of the list of the applied-for new gTLDs on ICANN's website. With publication of the list comes a 60-day public comment period, as well as a seven month objection period, during which time trademark owners can formally object to a new gTLD application. You can submit a public comment or review the comments of others on ICANN’s website. The public comment period is scheduled to end on August 12, 2012.

The formal objection period, however, will not end until December. During this period, trademark owners will be able to raise a number of objections to the applied-for new gTLDs, including “string” confusion (the new gTLD is confusingly similar to another existing or proposed gTLD) and infringement of a trademark holder's rights due to the new gTLD. You can learn more about filing a formal objection on ICANN’s website, at www.newgtlds.icann.org.