New gTLDs are taking the web by storm
Over the next few years, hundreds of new domain extensions are going to flood the market. This will allow you to register everything from .language to .sale to .vodka. The change will open up new opportunities to register your business in a more personalised way. For instance, if you are an architect and your current domain name is greenandsimmonsarchitect.com, you can now register greenandsimmons.architect, shortening the domain to something that’s easier for both you and your clients to remember, and is far more unique.
This might seem like a small blip on your radar and nothing to be concerned about, but it’s one of the biggest changes to the World Wide Web since its inception. With extensions connected to geography, such as .Africa, to common brand names like .Nike and .BMW, the Internet will be your oyster when it comes to opportunities to register new domain names. This can open up a plethora of business opportunities, especially in regards to domain extensions like .sale or an extension that directly relates to the industry you’re in (.beer, .lawyer, .architect, .hotel, etc).
However, it can also present many risks, with cyber squatters and other opportunists taking advantage of the flooded market to register domains with your trademark. They could use it as an opportunity to hijack your brand, or just hold a golden domain opportunity hostage from you, only willing to release it for an exorbitant price. This can and will make managing your brand online just a little bit more complex, so there has been a system set up to mitigate this risk for businesses who own a trademark. ICANN, the international body responsible for overseeing domains, has set up a Trademark Clearinghouse, which is responsible for working with brands and their trademarks to ensure better brand protection.
When a new gTLD has been released in the past, there have been individual sunrise and landrush periods which allow anyone who has a claim over a certain domain name to purchase the domain. However, as there will be a flood in the market with extensions being released in groups, a Trademark Clearinghouse has been set up to assist you in keeping track of the various release periods and give you early access to register the ones that you hold a trademark for. It will also alert you if anyone else registers one of your trademarks.
The gTLDs that have already been released include .bike, .clothing, .guru, .holdings, .plumbing, .singles and .ventures. ".guru" is already proving incredibly popular, with over 60,000 registrations to date.
While we don’t think .com is going anywhere anytime soon, this is an exciting time to be expanding your brand across the domain space and start marketing yourself in a new way.
Netregistry will begin registrations for new gTLD extensions in the coming weeks. If you’re interested in signing up with the Trademark Clearinghouse, contact our domain experts.