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Articles & Updates – Details

21 June 2011

ICANN Approves Historic Change to Internet's Domain Name System

ICANN Approves Historic Change to Internet's Domain Name System

Back in April we reported the proposed ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) meeting to vote on one of the biggest ever changes to the internet’s domain names by paving the way for the launch of many new gTLD domains.

The meeting went ahead as planned and the Board of Directors approved the plans. The Board voted with 13 approving, one opposed, and two abstaining.

Currently there are 22 gTLDs, which include domains such as .com, .org and .net. Rod Beckstrom, President and Chief Executive Officer of ICANN said, "ICANN has opened the internet's naming system to unleash the global human imagination. Today's decision respects the rights of groups to create new Top Level Domains in any language or script. We hope this allows the domain name system to better serve all of mankind".

The new gTLDs look set to change the way people find information on the internet. Peter Dengate Thrush, Chairman of ICANN's Board of Directors said, “Today's decision will usher in a new internet age".

The decision follows six years of discussion, debate and deliberation with the internet community, business groups and governments.

ICANN will now start a global campaign to create awareness of the change and applications for new gTLDs will be accepted from 12 January 2012 to 12 April 2012. It will cost $185,000 (£114,000) to apply for the suffixes, and companies would need to show they have a legitimate claim to the name they are buying. The application process is expected to be stringent to avoid the risk of trade mark infringements. Regardless, brand owners will need to ensure that they are vigilant and aware of the potential for infringement of their registered or unregistered trade marks. It is recommended that brand owners ensure that their portfolio of trade marks is up to date and accurately reflects their current activities.

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Related Resources

ICANN Publishes New gTLD Application Details
New gTLD Domain Name Programme Set to Launch Later This Year

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