Domainmonster.com Domain Editorials
1,000 to 1,500 New TLD Applications Predicted!
When the Internet Governance Forum met on the 18th of July, it was revealed that VeriSign and Mark Monitor expect there to be 1,000 to 1,500 new Top Level Domain applications in the first round alone next year. The two companies also commented that it was expected over two thirds of these applications would be made up of .brand type applications.
These numbers were revealed at a session prior to the Keynote address, given by Larry Strickling, the Assistant Secretary for Communications and Administrator. They are said to be based upon confidential feedback that both Verisign and Mark Monitor have received.
This has raised some interesting debates amongst the domaining community as ICANN have said in the past that they will not approve more than 1,000 New TLDs per round. This begs the question, what will happen if an extra 500 applications are received within the first round?
When the go ahead for the New TLD program was still in question trademark holders were the most vocal opposition to the approval going ahead. Now that people wanting to protect their brands are predicted to take up 66% of all applications, it certainly seems that they are now keen to get involved, even if it is as a last resort to ensure that their online presence is not compromised. While many large corporations will be able to absorb the $185,000 application fee, the cost alone is likely to leave many smaller brands struggling to pay for the protection they would love to have.
Additional comments have expressed concern over such a massively fragmented internet, which will only increase the value of .com domains and other already established and recognised extensions.
Trademark battles are heating up for non .brand New TLDs with a number of the more popular keywords already having multiple trademark applications. In the last couple of weeks alone, trademark applications have been filed on .auto, .tax and .food, filed by the same people who have previously attempted to file for .store: Eric Doerr of Delaware and Greg Disler of Pennsylvania.
ICANN will not consider New Top Level Domain trademarks when the applications are evaluated next year, and the US Patent and Trademark office won’t issue trademarks for them either. This doesn’t seem to be deterring people from having a go however! And it seems that trademark applications are being used by applicants as an attempt to halt others' New TLD applications, rather than to further their own.
If ICANN are faced with an extra 500 applications there is real potential for lots of angry applicants who may be postponed till the next round. It remains to be seen if ICANN will revise their maximum number for approvals per round…