The Big Bang in Cyberspace: ICANN Publishes List of New Top Level Domain Applications

June 13, 2012

ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, has today published a list of the 1930 new top level domains for which applications have been made – resulting in a massive expansion of the Internet's Domain Name Sytem. The list includes the names of applicants, contact information, region, general nature of proposed domain and other information. The list can be found on ICANN’s site. Following is a summary of applications:

1,930 applications include:

84 community based applications
66 applications for geographic names
116 internationalized domain names
652 applications, or approximately 33%, appear to be for .BRAND domains
731 applications, or approximately 40%, are for 230 identical strings1

Regional breakdown of applicants:2

North America (911)
Europe (675)
Asia-Pacific (303)
Latin America (24)
Africa (17)

Most popular gTLDs:

.app (13 applications)
.home (11)
.inc (11)
.art (10)
.blog (9)
.book (9)
.shop (9)
.llc (9)
.music (8)

Applicants with the most applications:

Donuts, Inc. (307) -- applied for by307 subsidiary limited liability companies
Google’s Charleston Road Registry Inc. (101)
Amazon (76)
TLDH (70)
Uniregistry, Corp. (54)
Afilias Limited (26)
United TLD Holdco Ltd. (26)

Examples of retailer domains: .amazon, .zappos, .macys, .oldnavy (but no .sears or .nordstrom)

Examples of manufacturers: .canon, .cartier (but no .rolex), and many car brands (but no .porsche or .mercedes)

Examples of banks and credit card companies: .amex, .discover, .jpmorgan

Examples of insurance companies: .prudential, .progressive

Examples of organizations: .aarp, .BBB, .IEEE

Examples of generic categories of services: carinsurance, .dentist, .flowers

Examples of geographic locations: .africa, .boston, .moscow

Examples of individual interests: .music, .fishing, .cars, .science, .fashion

Non-latin IDNS character domains: 106 (including 8 applications by Amazon)

Biggest surprise?: no .facebook.

Trademark owners should review ICANN’s list of applied-for TLDs to see if applications have been filed for their trademarks – either identical or confusingly similar – and develop a strategy for dealing with such strings. There is a 60-day period, to August 12, 2012, in which public comments regarding the effect on system stability and qualifications of the applicants of the applied-for domains can be submitted for consideration by ICANN’s independent reviewers as part of the evaluation process. Concerned parties might approach applicants to request that objectionable applications be abandoned. If no suitable resolution is reached, formal objections may be filed based on legal grounds, string confusion between applications, community interest, or violation of community values for the next seven months, until January 13, 2013.

Learn more in INTABulletin's article "ICANN Reveals 1,930 Applications for gTLDS," co-authored by partner Michael R. Graham.

Marshall, Gerstein & Borun can assist in reviewing these applications and developing strategies. For more information, contact Gregory J. Chinlund by email at [email protected] or by phone at 312.474.6650.

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1Other gTLDs may be considered confusingly similar and placed in string contention during the evaluation phase.

2The regional split is not precise, however, since some multinational applicants selected a group company in a country other than their headquarters country through which to apply. E.G. Amazon’s 76 applications were filed through its Lithuanian company and are therefore categorized as European.

This alert is intended to be informative and should not be interpreted as legal counsel for any specific fact situation. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel. Readers should not act upon the information presented without consulting professional legal counsel. Pursuant to applicable rules of professional conduct, this communication may constitute Attorney Advertising. © 2012 MARSHALL, GERSTEIN & BORUN LLP, Chicago, Illinois. All rights reserved.