On Thursday, April 4, Rick will be moderating a panel on top-level domain names at the upcoming ABA IP Spring Meeting, titled “Is that Domain .Yours or .Mine?: Coping with the New Top Level Domain Names.” You may have heard that (maybe, we’ll see) the “dot-com” era is over, because from now on, we’ll be able to choose from hundreds, maybe even thousands of new generic top-level domain names (“gTLDs”). But there will be teething pains. Oh, will there be teething pains. Like, what happens if the new gTLD happens to be confusingly similar to your mark? (Um, not very “generic”!) And what if more than one application for a new gTLD? (There can only be ONE!).

Here’s the summary of what we’ll be covering:

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) published  a list of over 1,900 applications for new top level domains. Some large brand owners applied for domain names, which mirror their trademarks, but many have not. In addition, there were domain names, such as .app and .inc that received multiple applicants. Given these results, the dispute resolution procedure during evaluation is of  vital importance to brand owners. This program will review the status of the ICANN gTLD program, while providing an in-depth look at how the procedures work, what has happened to date, and how the procedures can be used to a rights holder’s advantage.

Exciting stuff, we’re sure you’ll agree! Rick hopes to see some of you there!