AAF Government Report

June 21, 2012

Clark Rector Jr., Executive Vice President – Government Affairs

Aaron Dodson, Federation Intern

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ICANN Reveals Applications for New Domains

The Internet Corporation for Names and Numbers (ICANN) has revealed the full list of applications for new top level domains. Applications were submitted for nearly 2,000 new domains. If and when they go live, new domains could for the first time feature non-Latin characters such as those in Chinese or Cyrillic.

ICANN plans to evaluate each application on both a technical and legal basis before it is approved. It is unknown how many of the new applications are likely to be approved or when they would go live, although most observers do not expect them before late in 2013. In those cases where multiple applicants submitted the same name and cannot reach an agreement on control, ICANN will conduct an auction.

While ICANN maintains that expansion of the Internet’s domain system will lead to more choices and drive innovation, many in the business and law enforcement communities remain concerned that the addition of many new domains will lead to consumer confusion and new opportunities for consumer fraud.

In addition to these issues, many advertisers and brand owners are wary of the potential need to defensively register hundreds of new domains. AAF and allied groups will continue to try to work with ICANN institute safeguards to protect both consumers and businesses.

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