At the most recent meeting of the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit organisation responsible for coordinating the Internet addressing system, it was agreed that all companies and organisations should be entitled to apply for an Internet domain name ending ? known as a generic top level domain name (gTLD) ? that could correspond to any word such as a city or a company brand.
This has the potential to dramatically alter the current domain name landscape. Companies could pay to have a web address ending with their own brand name instead of .com or .co.uk. This change provides companies with new and innovative marketing opportunities, yet it also presents a number of risks surrounding trademark infringement and internet security.
We will be holding a seminar on the opportunities and risks presented by gTLDs in the coming months. The seminar will feature expert speakers and will draw on ICC?s experience as the key provider of business input into the ICANN process.