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ICANN Announces New gTLD Program

On June 20, ICANN announced that it would be opening up the domain space for new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs),  meaning that anyone will be able to register virtually any word or phrase in almost any language or script as a gTLD.  Up until now, there have been 22 available gTLDs (eg .com, .net, .org, .info etc) along with a number of country-code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) such as .us, .uk, .au, .ca etc.

Applications for new gTLDs will begin early in 2012.  It will be interesting to see how effectively this program is administered particularly in dealing with battles between trademark holders and others.  Additionally, it will be interesting to see if the possibility of so many new gTLDs actually does make any inroads into the prominence of the .com space over time.