At a meeting in Singapore today, ICANN voted to approve a new generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) program that will dramatically expand the pool of names that become TLDs.
Currently there are only 22 TLDs including the popular .com, net and .org.
“ICANN has opened the Internet’s naming system to unleash the global human imagination,” Rod Beckstrom, President and Chief Executive Officer of ICANN said in a statement.
The new gTLD plan is not without its challengers who warn that the new system will put brand owners under even more pressure.
“While Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) favored a targeted approach to address specific gTLD needs, such as non-latin script gTLDs, ICANN’s approved program is extremely broad,” Scott Bain, SIIA’s Chief Litigation Counsel, said in a statement. “Intellectual property owners will need to familiarize themselves quickly with the Rights Protection Mechanisms in the gTLD Applicant Guidebook, and expend even more resources and time in enforcing their rights against cybersquatters and infringers.”