James Davis, of Arent Fox, explained that the gTLD launch represents “an almost unlimited expansion of the current system”, where there are just 22 domain name extensions in use, in addition to country codes.
He warned it will become more difficult to monitor domain name registrations, and ensure cybersquatters do not take advantage of business brands.
Mr. Davis said trademark holders will be required to enforce their legal rights in order to fend off the online criminals.
“We’re opening up a lot of new real estate, and any time you open up a lot of real estate you start to attract the ne’er-do-wells and scammers that try and play off your mark to confuse consumers and profit from it,” he added.
“There are going to be all these new gTLDs to monitor to make sure people aren’t creating domain names and web sites that are playing off your brands.”
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is to accept gTLD applications between January and April 2012, subject to the payment of a $185,000 fee.