ICANN, the non-profit entity in charge of internet addresses, recently announced the list of proposed new top level domain names. Google, McDonald’s, Toyota and others secured their branded domain extensions, while others are seeking generic extensions, such as .movie, .hotel, .football and .food.
Applicants were permitted to claim any word or brand as a top level domain. (Top level domains are everything to the right of the dot.) ICANN announced that it received 1,930 requests for its first round of new domains. Applicants were required to pay $185,000 to participate in the application process.
The expansion program has been controversial. Eighty-seven major companies and associations signed a petition against the new top level domain expansion program, including Coca-Cola, Hewlett-Packard, Samsung, Dell, Nestle USA, Dunkin Brands, Ford, Procter & Gamble, General Electric, Kellogg and others. These entities object to program, citing the anticipated harm to brand owners and the opportunity for predatory cyber practices.
Brand owners are encouraged to review the list (above link) for possible issues. Any party with an objection to a proposed extension can file a complaint with Specified Dispute Resolution Service Providers within the next several months.