New Generic Top Level Domain Names Soon To Be Available. Do You Want To Be In The Domain Registry Business?
Top level domain names are the extensions that occur after the dot in URLs, such as the generic variety, e.g. .com, .edu, .org or the country code variety e.g. .AQ (Antartica), .CO (Columbia) or .VA (Vatican City). There are presently 21 generic top level domains and approximately 250 country code top level domains.
ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is proposing to begin taking applications for a whole new series of generic top level domain names. The new generic top level domain names will generally be limited only by the creativeness of the applicants and is, in fact, an application to become a registrar for the domain string for which you apply. This opens up the possibility that a large corporation may become a registrar for entities within its corporate structure and a domain name like .walmart could be used to marshal all the company's domains under one domain name umbrella.
Cities, states, areas, religions, professions or other organizations could conceivably obtain such generic top level domains. However, the application process will be rigorous and the fees are designed to keep out the riff-raff. Each application will have a fee of $185,000 of which $5,000 must be made as a down payment and the remainder must accompany the application. There are some refund provisions where the applicants can get back from 20 to 70 percent but the price of cybersquatting will go up substantially under this procedure. In addition, the applicant will be screened for prior acts of cybersquatting and will undergo extensive evaluation as to its operational, technical and financial capabilities. There is also an ongoing quarterly fee and a per registration fee.
Trademark holders should monitor this procedure to make sure that their marks are not compromised by any applications. The ICANN procedure provides for a trade mark clearinghouse and expedited dispute resolution.
So, plans are afoot in our firm to apply for the generic top level domain name: .law When we obtain this and become the official registrar for this name, all the law firms will come groveling to our door and our goal of global domination will be complete. Now, if we can just come up with $5,000.