Sunday, February 12, 2012

ICANN’s New Generic Top-Level Domains (GTLDs) Registration In Progress

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has recently streamlined the domain name registration procedure for generic top level domain names (new GTLDs). After much discussion, ICANN approved allotment of new GTLDs. Now brand and trademark owners can register their brands and trademarks as the GTLDs.

Of course, this entire process is not a smooth one but would face many techno legal hurdles and challenges. For instance, issues like cyber squatting and domain names violations, brands violations, trademark violations, ensuring security of new GTLDs, etc would arise. Further, many unforeseen challenges that cannot be anticipated and warned against may also arise during new GTLDs registrations.

In fact, filing of a GTLD application would not be an easy task and it requires thorough planning and management. ICANN is in no mood of allowing “casual filing” and only the applicants “proving bonfide claims” would be granted the new GTLDs.

Further, subsequent to new GTLDs registrations, issues like domain names protection, brands protection, trademarks protection, cybersquatting disputes resolution, cyber law compliances, cyber security requirements, cyber due diligence, etc would also arise. Brand owners and trademark owners must prepare their “strategy” in this regard well in advance.

The process of registration of new GTLDs is in full swing. The new GTLDs application process has started from 12 January 2012 and would end on 29th March 2012. As on 12-02-2012, the applicants have 46 more days to apply for new GTLDs.

Perry4Law and Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB) recommend a prior and thorough risks and benefits analysis of applying to new GTLDs registration to ICANN. This should include techno legal analysis, new GTLDs due diligence, possible Legal Rights Objections under ICANN's New GTLD scheme, etc.