On Thursday June 26, 2008 the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and
Numbers (ICANN) voted to astronomically
expand the availability of domain names from the traditional .country or .com
to almost whatever the purchaser can imagine. Proponents of this plan
included corporations such as eBay (.ebay), industries (.car), and cities (.berlin).
Starting in 2009, purchasers will be able to buy an unlimited number of
domain names. While some are thrilled, others are concerned people will
make a lot of money by "squatting" on domain names (for example,
someone could scoop up .pepsi and sell it for millions to the Pepsi Corporation).
ICANN is putting several safeguards in place to make sure this does not happen;
including giving purchasing priority to trademark holders.
Another somewhat unintended consequence to the pirating of these new domain
names is how expensive it is technologically to implement a new completely
untried domain name.
So… what does what some are calling one of the biggest
shakeups in internet history really mean to you? For smaller
organizations with plans on staying small, it may not mean much. For
those of you who are planning on growing, getting your brand trademarked may be
a very good idea.
Financially, getting your brand trademarked can be pretty expensive, but it
may be something you may really want to consider to safely control your brand.
For more information and ideas you can check out the United States Patent and
Trademark web site.
It remains to be seen what the full scale implications to your users and
internet navigators of this ICANN ruling will be. We will keep all of you
Photo thanks to Flickr user Jordan Lee