What’s in a .Name?
We’re guessing more than the current $14.95 per year.
As many of you know, starting on January 12, brands can apply to own their share of gold. As a reminder, (because who doesn’t’ know what gTLD are), a gTLD stands for Generic Top-Level Domains. Current top level domains you are familiar with are: .com, .biz, .org, .co And, this month, ICANN is expanding gTLDs to businesses. What does this mean? .facebook, .xerox, .mcdonalds could be – and most likely – will be common place.
We know you’re busy, however, you have spent many late nights building your brand. The registration process if fairly straight-forward. Just go to http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/ for information and to register.
Registration Fee (ouchie)
To purchase a top-level domain, many experts believe you will have to pay northward of $500,000, including the initial application fee and technology costs.
Put April 12, 2012 in Your Calendar
Applications for a gLTD are accepted from January 12-April 12, 2012. Within two weeks of the close date, ICANN will publish information about every received/completed application. It is HIGHLY important that you review the entire list to identify if anyone is infringing upon your trademark. If you believe someone is using your brand name inappropriately, then starting in May you will have an opportunity to object to the application directly to ICANN.
Of course, you can always (at any time) register your brand directly with ICANN’s trademark clearinghouse. In doing so, you do not have to purchase a gTLD to protect your name. ICANN will automatically reject anyone who attempts to use your registered name. For example, Microsoft will not have to register .microsoft if it chooses not to.
As we know, some brands have very similar names (think Caesars Entertainment and Little Caesars Pizza). If both brands want to buy the gTLD of .caesars, then there will be an auction. The auction will be held in private between the two companies.
But Wait, There’s More: Second Level Domains
This is the section of a domain name before the dot. Trademark holders who have registered with the clearinghouse get the first opportunity to purchase a second-level domain on new gTLDs . (ford.trucks, american.airlines, sony.playstation for example).
By registering with ICANN, if another brand buys a second-level domain which may infringe on your rights, they will notify you.
Now, let the games begin!