Country-code top level domain names are commonplace and have helped businesses offer customers more targeted information based on their geographic location.
However, this is set to become more targeted with the introduction of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ (ICANN) generic top-level domains (gTLDs).
There are 22 gTLDs in use right now- ranging from the.com extension to .net and .org – but this is set to expand dramatically when new gTLDs emerge.
Under the new roll out, which is set to take place at some point later this year, there will be several new overlapping categories of domain names: brand, community-sponsored, generic, geographic, and internationalized extensions (IDNs).
Generic TLDs cover terms such as .book or .shop and are likely to be the most popular with businesses.
While geoTLDs are a small portion of the applied-for strings, they may be a key component to ICANN’s new domains and are set to give more local businesses an area on the internet that is targeted, when compared to the typical .com or country code domain such as .co.uk.
Companies will be able to register their domain to a certain location, such as London, Paris or New York and this will allow consumers to find them much more readily than ever before.
Many locations will be available for people to use and several firms are applying for gTLDs that offer something different to the typical country–code top level domains.
In addition, ICANN has formally approved the community-sponsored top-level internet domain designation .kiwi.
This new community-based TLD will provide an alternative to the typical country specific domain names already in place, such as .co.nz and .org.nz.
Organizations and individuals will be able to register in the .kiwi domain at some point in the near future.
Registration in several new gTLDs is expected to open later this year for registered trademark holders. The Trademark Clearinghouse has been open for several weeks and many companies have registered their trademarks in the database.
When new gTLDs launch, a “sunrise” period will commence where trademark owners will be able to register their marks in a new gTLD during this priority phase. Once the period is over the general public will have the opportunity to do so.
For more information on new gTLDS please contact CSC Digital Brand Services, a registered agent of the Trademark Clearinghouse.