The All New gTLDs
The initial phase of any gTLD rollout is called the Sunrise period, and usually runs for 30-60 days. It is the biggest departure from the way domain names have been made available up until now.
Among ICAAN's primary goals for the rollout of new names was to solve the problem of cybersquatters registering trademarked names like dominos or iphone. The business need to protect trademarks and brands essentially forced companies into paying usorious fees to "buy back" these domain names. This is where the "Sunrise" phase comes in.
Generally speaking, applying for names during the Sunrise period is restricted to applicants that maintain a registered trademark on the name for which they applied, e.g. dominos.pizza. If the name is trademarked internationally, that further strengthens their claim to a particular name. To help ensure that copyright holders can protect their trademarks through early access, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has created a Trademark Clearinghouse, through which all Sunrise requests must be checked.
Sunrise registrations typically cost more than general availability registrations. Even so, many businesses consider Sunrise to be the ideal time to acquire valuable domain names. since the costs are low compared to other ways of protecting one's trademarks from cyberquatters. During the latter part of Sunrise, registries may allow owners of strings under an alternate TLD to apply for the same string in the gTLD they manage. For example, an accounting firm that owns ThomasonandSmith.com might be eligible to acquire ThompsonandSmith.cpa during the Sunrise period. This sub-phase is to help protect companies whose brands are not officialy trademarked but are well-known through common usage.
So far, however, most registries are not offering this service, or are restricting it to "not for profit" organizations who maintain a .ORG account. At least for now, registries are requiring that such companies acquire their name during the second phase, called Landrush.
Did you know that just over 50% of lawyers are in private practice? The remainder are spread throughout government, industry, judicial clerkships, and academia.
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As hundreds of new gTLDs are introduced in the not-too-distant future, a new era of opportunity
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