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Wow, That's a Lot of Applications

John Levine

ICANN unveiled all the applications for new top level domains today, all 1,930 of them. Most of them were fairly predictable, big companies applying for their own names like .IBM, .DUPONT, .AUDI, and .HSBC. The most applications for the same name were 13 for .APP, 11 for .INC and .HOME, 10 for .ART, 9 for .SHOP, .LLC, .BOOK, and .BLOG. None of those claim community support so they'll have to slug it out in the contention process.

The most applications came from Donuts, who previously announced that they'd put in 304 applications. Other large applicants were Amazon.com with 76, for a mix of brands (.AMAZON and .ZAPPOS) and generic terms (.PAY, .MUSIC, .NEWS, and .APP), and perhaps surprisingly, Google with 101, ranging from .GOOGLE, .YOUTUBE, and .ANDROID to .WEB, .GMBH, .MAIL and .LOL. (They'll have to slug it out with Bret Fausett of Uniregistry for that last one.)

There are a variety of geographic names, most community supported such as .AQUITAINE and of course .BERLIN. More surprising were four applications from the Vatican for .CATHOLIC and its transliteration into Russian, Arabic and Chinese. I hope the faithful get their million dollars' worth. There's also OOO (that's three letters oh) from a company in India, which will probably run into trouble since it looks a lot like 000 (that's three zeros) and all-digit TLDs aren't allowed.

There's 116 applications for IDN strings, some place names like Abi Dhabi, but most generic terms like the Chinese version of .INFO and brand names. I didn't see any IDNs with more than two contending applications.

Of the applications, 1180 are uncontested with a single applicant, 230 are contested with two or more. For the contested ones, some pit a community application against non-community, and a few pit two community applications, presumably representing the same community.

The next step is the bizarre "digital archery" pseudo-lottery to see which applications get considered first. It looks to me like there will be plenty of opportunity for ICANN to spend the $50 million or so of the application fees intended to defend against lawsuits. Stay tuned.

By John Levine, Author, Consultant & Speaker. More blog posts from John Levine can also be read here.

Related topics: ICANN, Top-Level Domains

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The generic names should be required to Phil Howard  –  Jun 17, 2012 7:38 AM PST

The generic names should be required to operate exactly the same way existing GTLDs operate ... where one company operates as the registry and is open to others operating as registrars.  While I never did agree with the technical ways ICANN implemented the 1-registry-N-registrars model, if we are going to have it, we must do it consistently.

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