The Internet as we know it is about to change. This could create huge new opportunities for businesses to strengthen their brands, as well as huge new threats to their trademark rights. No wonder so many companies are uncertain about how to respond to the coming new domain name system.
There are currently 22 generic top-level domains (gTLD), such as .org, .biz and .mobi. There are approximately 250 country code top-level domains (ccTLD), such as .us. For most businesses, however, there are only a few top-level domains (TLD) that really matter—the most important of which, by far, is .com.
The new TLDs create new opportunities for cybersquatters (who register others’ trademarks) and typosquatters (who register misspellings of others’ trademarks). These scammers, however, are unlikely to register any TLDs. “It is so expensive to register [a TLD] and the process is so demanding, it is unlikely the fly-by-night scammers will be able to fool anyone,” says Christopher Glancy, a partner at White & Case.