-Wes Anderson, Attorney

As the INTA Annual Meeting winds down, one memory for me that certainly stuck out was an on-site ad campaign revolving around the new “.sucks” top-level domain (“TLD”). Depending on whom you ask, it’s either ingenious or diabolical.

Just outside the San Diego Convention Center, the throngs of orange lanyard-wearing conference attendees

-Wes Anderson, Attorney

As Kentucky prepares to square off with Wisconsin in the NCAA Final Four and move one step closer to an undefeated, 40-win season, the University of Kentucky has been dueling with one of its own – a fan and attorney claiming he has already secured trademark rights to “40-0.” But can such

In December, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in B&B Hardware v. Hargis Industries. The case addresses the level of deference to be given to decisions from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, if any. We’ve discussed the issue a number of times at DuetsBlog. I’d love to provide you with breaking news, but

One aspect of intellectual property law that doesn’t get as much attention as it maybe should is domain names.  For those of you internet-savvy readers out there (who I assume is most of you), you already know that domain names provide the virtual address where customers and others can hopefully find your goods and services. 

I once spent 20 minutes trying to figure out whether I was installing a metal insert for an NYMÖ lamp upside down, or rightside up. I’m still not sure I ever installed it correctly, but it’s still working. So there. But a new IKEA översittare is getting a lot of attention on the internet, and

– Mark Skoultchi, Catchword Brand Name Development

As you may have heard, the Internet is undergoing a growth spurt of unprecedented proportions. Over 1000 new global top level domains (gTLDs) are in the midst of launching, so in addition to familiar extensions like .com, .org, and .net, expect to start seeing .nyc, .company, .nike, and .golf. And, of course, about 1000 more.

A gTLD Crash Course: Crash now, don’t crash later.

Anyone can apply for a website at a new gTLD, except the branded ones like .nike or .sony. But, buyer beware, the individuals or companies who own the gTLDs can charge however much they want for domains employing their extensions. For example, registering www.xyz.luxury will cost you $600/year, though inversely www.luxury.xyz will cost you under $10/year.

The new extensions all have a “sunrise” period, during which owners of existing trademarks can pre-register domains corresponding to their trademarks before the general public. This is to prevent somebody from getting to Spam.food before Hormel does, for example.

Following the sunrise period is the pre-registration period. This is a length of time before the gTLDs go live when there are no restrictions on who can apply for a domain. If there are multiple applicants for the same domain, some gTLD owners have promised to give it to the first applicant, while others will let them bid against each other in an auction. Though the start and end dates for the sunrise and pre-registration periods are different for all the gTLDs, many registrars allow you to create customized watch-lists for your gTLDs of interest.

How will people react to 1000 new gTLDs?

Though only time will tell, the Internet’s growing pains should be minimal. The new gTLDs will be as searchable as any other website is now, and because Google itself has applied for over 100 new gTLDs there’s a good chance the search giant will be tweaking its algorithms to account for the new extensions. Furthermore, internet users are already growing accustomed to .com alternatives. In recent years we’ve seen an increase in usage of country top level domains like .co, .ly, and .me (not to mention .net and .biz). Though it won’t happen overnight, consumers will similarly come to accept the most used new gTLDs as well.

The other indication that many of these gTLDs will attract significant usage is that, quite simply, the internet is getting more and more crowded. Barring an apocalypse, internet usage worldwide will increase dramatically in the coming decades, and businesses and individuals will be forced to turn to the new gTLDs for their own slice of the web.

Inevitably, though, not all new gTLDs will succeed. Shorter extensions that have clearly implied communities or industries will see the highest demand, like .health, .law, .and .book, but vaguer extensions lacking robust communities or user groups might fall by the wayside—extensions like .gripe, .blue, and .boo. Furthermore, there are many extensions that overlap with each other. With the release of .pics, .photo, .photos, and .photography, it is likely that one or two of these will become the default and the others will fade away. Same with .dating and .singles, .fish and .fishing…you get the idea.

The BIG companies and their gTLDs

Some companies with new gTLDs surely have grander plans for them than just selling domains to interested buyers. To enhance internet book sales, Amazon might allow authors who sell through them to build out websites for their books at a .book address, where customers could go to read interviews, find book tour dates, watch book trailers, and of course, buy books. Nike, on the other hand, might build out sites like soccer.nike or Jordans.nike to give shoppers direct access to products or brands. It’s even possible that Nike could give loyal customers personalized .nike sites where they could shop, customize clothing, build out their wardrobe, and share pictures of them dunking, etc. And what will Google do with their myriad of new extensions? Of course, only time will tell.

Using a .com domain vs. a new gTLD

The question for technology managers, entrepreneurs, and new businesses is this: When launching a web presence, should you choose a .com domain or a new gTLD? Well, as you might expect, the answer is complicated, so let’s go through a few scenarios.

Continue Reading Business in the Age of the New gTLDs

One of the unfortunate aspects of trademark practice is the permission that exists in the law to challenge the motives and intentions of people.

Unfortunate, because this permission is frequently abused, especially by less experienced trademark counsel, or perhaps when the strength of a case doesn’t seem like enough without injecting an unhealthy dose of 

Ylvis, the Norwegian music/comedy duo, recently revealed the secret of the fox to more than a hundred and twenty-three million viewers on YouTube (as of this posting), answering the vexing question: What does the fox say?

Not surprisingly, given this wide-spread attention, an individual apparently unconnected to Ylvis already has filed an intent-to-use trademark

Teaming up with Susan Upton Douglass of the Fross Zelnick firm is always fun, so don’t miss our upcoming webinar on September 11, 2013.

It is entitled “Structuring Trademark Clearance Opinions: Assessing Search Results to Identify Infringements, Overcoming Clearance Challenges, and Preparing Opinions to Reduce Legal Risks,” and it is offered by Strafford Publications.