Gina Durham, an intellectual property partner with DLA Piper’s Chicago office, explains the new generic top-level domain (gTLD) program underway by Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Over the past several months, ICANN has been accepting applications for the new gTLD program.

This program allows organizations to own their own top-level domain extension and aims to greatly proliferate the number of available domain extensions beyond the limited number of extensions, such as “.com” and “.org,” to which Internet users are accustomed. With a few exceptions, an organization could have applied to have almost anything to the right of the dot, including its own company brand name or a generic term.

In a couple of weeks, the public will be able to review, for the first time, the list of gTLDs for which companies have applied. In advance of the official reveal date, a number of organizations are now announcing the subject of their applications. Google has announced that it applied for “.google,” “.docs,” “.youtube,” and “.lol.” The CUNA (Credit Union National Association) has announced that it applied for “.creditunion.”

Read the rest of Gina’s article here to learn more about strategies to help protect your company’s brand names and Internet presence, including a summary of the formal objection process and dispute resolution procedures. Find additional information about the gTLD process as well as trademark and copyright issues at our sister DLA Piper blog, Re:Marks on Copyright and Trademark.