gTLDs — predictions for 2014

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By Randeep Grewal

At the time of writing, 24 new gTLDs had been delegated — meaning that the registrars of those domains are now undertaking the final administration processes before launching to the public. With the list of delegated domains growing every week, the days of consumer access to sites such as 5series.bmw grow closer every day. 

Given this proximity to launch, curiosity is growing in all sections of society over what the impact of these new domains will be. A good indicator of the consensus among brand owners may come from the brand protection efforts being taken in anticipation of the launch. 

Brand owners have had since March this year to record their trademarks in the Trade Marks Clearing House (TMCH), an e-depository run by Deloitte that is designed to give those with legitimate rights in a mark a head start in registering it as a secondary level domain (e.g. the ‘taylorwessing’ in taylorwessing.com) in any of the new gTLD registries.  Where there are multiple parties with rights in the same mark that wish to secure that mark as a secondary-level domain in the same gTLD registry, an auction process will then ensue. For those who have recorded their marks, the TMCH will also alert them when a third party attempts to register that same brand in any registry. By the end of August, 8,500 marks had been recorded in the TMCH…

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