The All New gTLDs
Today the world has about two dozen generic top-level domains (TLDs) including the popular ones (.com, .net, .org) as well as lesser known ones such as .mobi and .tel. Over time, these were supplemented by creating 200+ country codes TLDs (ccTLDs), one for each countries, e.g. .ca for Canada or .jp for Japan. When the addressing convention for the Internet was developed nearly forty years ago, TLDs helped create structure and boundaries within the Internet. As initially conceived, .COM denoted commercial businesses, .EDU were restricted to accredited education institutions, etc. Of course, at the time, there were perhaps 100 domains, so this structure worked well. Forty years later, there are over 250 million domains, with more than 111 million domains assigned a .COM designation. As anyone who tries to hand-register a name knows, a good one is hard to find. Simply put, the Internet has outgrown its current naming conventions.
In addition, over the years many domain names, especially trademarks and "good names" (short, memorable, and intuitive) were scooped up by cybersquatters and speculators, forcing trademark holders and industry groups to pay sometimes usurious fees to regain domain names critical to their business.
The difficulty with finding a short and intuitive domain name is about to be solved, as has the issue of trademark protection. After many years of discussion and planning, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a nonprofit body that oversees the structure of the Internet, has authorized a dramatic increase the number of top level domain names. More specifically, an increase in the number of generic TLDs, or gTLDs, which can be used with little or not restrictions.
Over the next two years, well over a thousand new gTLDs will be made available, with the first new names available in about a month. Among these new gTLDs are names like .LAWYER, .CAMERA, and .RESTAURANT; Epik has created the gTLD Field Guide to help educate you on the many choices now available.
Each gTLD will be rolled out in phases, with the first phase ("Sunrise") being dedicated largely to trademark holders who want to protect their trademark and brand. ICANN has even launch a Trademark Clearinghouse to help support this overarching goal. A good example of a Sunrise transaction would be the purchase of dominos.pizza by Dominoes. After Sunrise are Landrush, and then later, full General Availability.
The sheer scope of the gTLD effort demands a phased approach. The complete rollout of gTLDs will take more than two years, but the Sunrise period for the first dozen or so names will commence in December 2013, with a new wave launching every month or so thereafter. The launch of so many gTLDs will have a major effect on the Internet, so now it is the best time to educate yorself and decide when and how to act.
Did you know that just over 50% of lawyers are in private practice? The remainder are spread throughout government, industry, judicial clerkships, and academia.
.VENTURES Register Now
.SINGLES Register Now
.BIKE Register Now
.HOLDINGS Register Now
.PLUMBING Register Now
.GURU Register Now
.CLOTHING Register Now
.CAMERA Register Now
.EQUIPMENT Register Now
.ESTATE Register Now
.LIGHTING Register Now
.CONTRACTORS Register Now
If you`re reading this, then you`re one of the 2 billion plus people who use the Internet
As hundreds of new gTLDs are introduced in the not-too-distant future, a new era of opportunity
Trademark owners will be profoundly affected by the introduction of new generic top level domains.
It`s a whole new internet
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