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Will Domain Name Changes Produce New Names Like ".Law" and ".Skadden"?

On Monday, the powers-that-be at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (the group that is tasked with keeping the Internet "secure, stable and interoperable" and that develops policy on the Internet’s unique identifiers) voted in favor of a significant change in the Internet's Domain Name System. The approved plan will exponentially increase the 22 existing Internet top level domains (i.e. .com, .org, .net and 19 others) by allowing generic Top Level Domains that may be almost any word in any language. Thus, new TLDs such as ".apple" or ".ipad" may now be imminent.

ICANN issued a statement claiming that its plan will "open[] the Internet's naming system to unleash the global human imagination," and hopefully allow "the domain name system to better serve all of mankind." Its chairman added that the new plan will provide "a platform for the next generation of creativity and inspiration."

Before you start channeling your "creativity and inspiration" into stealing my ".bruce" domain name, however, you should know that the price of admission is quite steep. The application fee is $185,000 and applicants must comply with a 360-page book of guidelines. ICANN will begin accepting applications for the new domains on Jan. 12, 2012, and will take applications until April 12, 2012.

The Associated Press reports that analysts expect 500 to 1,000 new domain names will be created in this initial round of applications, including names such as ".google" but also more generic names such as ".bank" or ".hotel". In some cases, groups are forming to establish names such as ".sport" for sporting sites.

A question for LBW readers: What law-related domain names, if any, do you expect will result from this development? I bet we will see a new ".law" domain name, but what else would be worth the investment? Will we see names like ".skadden"? How about ".esq"?

Posted by Bruce Carton on June 21, 2011 at 04:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

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