Generic Top Level Domains: Ingenius Trademark Branding Tool, or ICANN Moneymaking Scheme?

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Get ready for the biggest change to the internet since Facebook!

This past summer the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”) approved the “New gTLD Program,” ending the restrictions on the generic top-level domains (“gTLD”). What is a gTLD? gTLD refers to the most common category of domain names used to navigate the internet (i.e., “.com,” “.net,” or “.org”). Starting on January 12, 2012, ICANN will begin accepting applications for new gTLDs. That means the internet could soon be filled with gTLDs like “.nike,” “.ipad,” or “.sport.” So, what’s the big deal? Some say that this development provides an incredible opportunity for branding a corporation, a city, or any public or private organization who can afford a new gTLD. Instead of having to navigate through McDonald’s website to find potential career options, or looking for a local branch in Anchorage, Alaska, we may soon find websites such as “careers.mcdonalds” and “anchorage.mcdonalds.”

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