Sunday, February 12, 2012

New GTLDs Applicants Must Ensure Due Diligence Before Applying

As the readers of the blog are aware Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has already laid down stringent conditions for the acceptance of an application for registration of new GTLDs. The application amount for normal applicants has been quantified at US $ 1, 85,000. This would keep the non serious applicants out of the race to get a new GTLD.

However, merely giving this high fee would not guarantee that the applicant would get the applied new GTLD. If the applicant fails to make a good case for the grant of applied GTLD, this fee may be wasted. ICANN has clearly said that only “bonfide applicants” would be allotted the applied GTLD. The GTLD application would be minutely scrutinised before allowing the same.

Here lays the importance of a “GTLD due diligence service” that analysis the possibilities of allotment of the proposed GTLD. Perry4Law and Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB) strongly recommend a GTLD due diligence exercise before making an application to ICANN in this regard.

ICANN’s new generic top level domain names (new GTLDs) registration has begun. As on 12-02-2012, the applicants have 46 more days to apply for new GTLDs. A prior and thorough risks and benefits analysis of applying to new GTLDs registration to ICANN must be undertaken by the applicants. This should include techno legal analysis, new GTLDs due diligence, possible Legal Rights Objections under ICANN's New GTLD scheme, etc.

Further, with an increase in new GTLDs registrations, issues like domain names protection, brands protection, trademarks protection, cybersquatting disputes resolution, cyber law compliances, cyber security requirements, cyber due diligence, etc would also arise. Brand owners and trademark owners must prepare their “strategy” in this regard well in advance.

The legal issues of new GTLDs application, their registration and subsequent litigations would surface and a sound policy in this regard can help in minimising the legal risks associated with the same.