New gTLDs and the programme that gave birth to them are developing their own personalities, as expert panellists reveal.
Where are we at with the new gTLD programme? What should IP owners be aware of, now and in the next 12 months?
Clémence Le Cointe: In July, ICANN revealed that of the 1930 applications received, 1719 had been evaluated.
Up to this point, approximately 319 gTLDs were delegated, which means that more than 75 percent of the gTLDs for which contracts have been concluded still have to be delegated.
There are more than two million registered domains under the new gTLDs. These are spread among 371 available strings managed by 186 different registrars.
More than 1.5 million (79.58 percent) of these domains are parked, meaning that most registered domains under new gTLDs are not used.
According to July 2014 statistics, the TMCH, which is closely aligned with the new gTLD programme, is also gaining more importance, with 31,866 trademarks registered with the clearinghouse to-date.
This shows a growth of approximately 1000 trademarks per month.
It is clear from these statistics that the new gTLD programme is far from complete. It is therefore important for trademark owners to continue to monitor and be aware of the new gTLDs that have been released during the first round.
Trademark owners should concentrate on the strings that already exist or will be delegated and establish a clear strategy. They should not neglect the registration of their most important trademarks at the TMCH. There is still a substantial number of strings that have to be delegated and that can be of interest, depending on the field of activity.
It is important for trademark owners to take advantage of the opportunity offered when trademarks are registered at the TMCH and to register domain names with new gTLDs of interest during sunrise periods.
It will take some years until all strings are delegated and accessible, so it will be constant work for IP professionals, be they in-house or in private practice.