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The internet, but not as we know it

13 January 2012

Yesterday ICAAN opened its doors to applications for generic top level domains (gTLDs). Applicants will be able to apply for specific words or letters as an alternative to the recognised top level suffixes of .com, .net and .org. Examples of early applications are .london and .pepsi (i.e. http://mybrand or customerservice@mybrand).

The changes have led to widespread concern, with companies fearing reputational damage if their key brands and trade marks fall into the wrong hands. However, with a non-refundable “evaluation fee” of $185,000 and careful policing promised by the registries, there should be a significant barrier in the way of most Internet fraudsters.

The industry is estimating we will see around 1,500 initial applications for gTLDs. In our opinion, gTLDs represent a new frontier on the Internet and, in turn, a great opportunity for companies to stake their claim with key trade marks or creative new branding.

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