14 Jun, 2012

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has revealed the first batch of applications for newly available ‘generic Top Level Domains’. 1,930 applications have been received in total, including for .love, .food, and .app. ICANN must now approve or decline the applications.



Campbell Newell (pictured), Partner at Marks & Clerk LLP, comments: “The sheer number of applications – especially given this is only the first round – goes to show that the demand for branded or otherwise customised domain names is very much there. It has not been, as some speculated last year, a damp squib. As commerce continues to migrate online, and the internet embeds itself into more and more aspects of everyday life, brand and reputation are becoming more important than ever before. So it makes sense for companies and organisations to seize the opportunity to distinguish themselves like this. 


“Nonetheless, not all applications on this list will represent a proactive desire to incorporate a branded domain name into marketing strategies. Some applications will have had a defensive motivation, i.e. businesses and organisations wishing to ensure that a certain domain name cannot be used – or abused – by others.


“Looking at the list, it can be seen that there are several domain names (such as ‘app’ and ‘book’) with multiple reputable applicants, none of which have a particularly unique claim to the phrase in question. It will be interesting to see how these disputes play out, both during and after the registration phase.”


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