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First New gTLDs Go Live on the Internet, Announces ICANN

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today announced that the first new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) from its New gTLD Program were delegated. This means they were introduced into the Internet's Root Zone, the central authoritative database for the Internet's Domain Name System.

The four strings delegated are:

شبكة (xn--ngbc5azd) — Arabic for "web/network"
Registry: International Domain Registry Pty. Ltd.

онлайн (xn--80asehdb) — Cyrillic for "online"
Registry: CORE Association

сайт (xn--80aswg) — Cyrillic for "site"
Registry: CORE Association

游戏 (xn--unup4y) — Chinese for "game(s)"
Registry: Spring Fields, LLC

As a result, the domain name Registries, the organizations approved to operate these and other soon-to-be-delegated gTLDs, can execute the final processes required to make their domain names available to Internet users.

Internationalized Domain Names – Today, with the new gTLD program, almost any word in any language can be a TLD. This video, shot at the ICANN meeting in Seoul, October 2009, honors the years of effort invested in leading up to the milestone date of November 16, 2009, when ICANN began accepting requests from around the world for domain name extensions made up of non-Roman characters.”It's happening — the biggest change to the Internet since its inception," said Akram Atallah, president of ICANN's Generic Domains Division. "In the weeks and months ahead, we will see new domain names coming online from all corners of the world, bringing people, communities and businesses together in ways we never imagined. It's this type of innovation that will continue to drive our global society."

"The issue of cybersquatting and related domain name disputes is likely to be exacerbated following today's shakeup of the Internet, and later on down the line when hundreds more web extensions appear online," says Jan Corstens, Project Director, Trademark Clearinghouse. "In this context, today's news that these new extensions are finally launching is a massive call to action for businesses to ensure they are protecting their brands and trademarks online. Otherwise they are both leaving themselves open to intellectual property infringement and also, ultimately putting consumers at risk. With the counterfeit goods market set to exceed $1.7 trillion per annum by 2015, industries producing goods that have significant safety implications, such as cosmetics or pharmaceuticals, need to be aware of who might try and imitate their brands online."

ICANN's Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) is the only ICANN authorised mechanism available to offer trademark protection across every single new domain extension being launched. Corstens warns that failing to record marks into the TMCH and being unaware of those who intend to abuse your trademark, in order to market imitation goods or services, can have serious consequences.

"The new extensions offer great benefits to consumers and brands alike, such as reducing the risk of purchasing counterfeit goods online if you purchase from branded web extensions such as '.NIKE' and '.TIFFANY'," says Roland LaPlante, Senior Vice President and CMO at Afilias. LaPlante further added that businesses that already applied (including major brands ranging from Google to Amazon) are now building plans for integrating their new gTLD into their online strategies and communicating the benefits to consumers. "Business that have not applied must seriously consider both the imminent competitive impact and how to best prepare to apply for their own gTLD in ICANN's next round."

Related topics: Domain Names, ICANN, Top-Level Domains

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