Hundreds of new top level domains (new TLDs)
Hundreds of new domain extensions will be added to the internet in coming years by the Generic Top Level Domain program. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organisation coordinating gTLDs, has received almost 2000 applications from organisations interested in managing their own gTLD. This expansion of choice will offer further opportunities for companies and organisations to creatively incorporate their brand into memorable, attractive domain names.
If you already have a trademark or brand name, it’s important to keep an eye out for these opportunities to make sure you don’t miss out on securing a new TLD for your brand. The process for launching these new gTLDs generally comes in three phases so being abreast of the process can help avoid losing a potentially valuable domain to a third party.
- Sunrise Period: first 60 days
This is the pre-registration period that is mandatory at launch of all new gTLDs and is the right time to step in and secure your trademark. You must have a trademark registered and submit this to ICANN’s Trademark Clearinghouse. This is a service we can provide on request. The costs and process (can be auction or “first come, first served”) of registering a domain at Sunrise can vary by domain but typically a separate Sunrise fee will be applied per domain – this can make it more costly than waiting till general availability but it’s the way to go if you have a valuable brand.
This is an optional period in the process and offers the opportunity to step in before general availability to register important names which are not or cannot be trademarked.
- General Availability
This is an open-ended phase following on where the TLD becomes available on a “first-come, first-served” basis to the general public. Trademark claims must still be provided for 90 days.