The International Trademark Association (INTA) announced in its August 1, 2009 Bulletin that INTA passed a resolution to oppose the current proposal by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Domain Names and Numbers (ICANN) for an unlimited expansion of new generic Top-Level Domain Names (gTLDs).

ICANN sets and manages global policies for Internet gTLDs and has proposed expanding from the 21 existing gTLDs, e.g., .com, .org, and .net, to an unlimited number of gTLDs. A number of organizations in addition to INTA have expressed opposition to ICANN’s proposed expansion of gTLDs. Some view the new policy as a money grab. Others focus on the concerns regarding increased potential for trademark infringement and dilution and complaints that ICANN’s existing system has not been effective at protecting trademarks against cybersquatters already trading among the current gTLDs.

According to the INTA Bulletin, INTA will be issuing a revised Draft Applicant Guidebook for new gTLDs in September 2009. Text of INTA’s resolution opposing the proposed unlimited expansion of gTLDs can be found at www.inta.org.

Expansion of new gTLDs has been a hot topic among domain name and trademark professionals, including business and legal professionals and cyber entrepreneurs. If this topic interests you, consider attending Cyber Symposium 2009 in Lehi, Utah on September 25, 2009. Cyber Symposium 2009 is a full day seminar for business and legal professionals interested in strengthening their presence in the high tech industry. Douglas R. Bush, a partner in Arent Fox’s Intellectual Property practice group in Washington, DC, will be lecturing at the Cyber Symposium on the new gTLDs and on monetizing domain names. For more info see: www.utahcyberlaw.org.

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