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August 14, 2014

Firms are very worried about new generic top level domains

New web suffixes provide new opportunities for fraud.

By Jimmy Nicholls

Almost nine in ten businesses are concerned about the effect new generic top level domains (gTLDs) will have on their trademarks and intellectual property, according to brand managers NetNames.

Cyber-squatters were thought to be the top risk, with a third of companies identifying them as a creating potential problems through domain hijacking, traffic diversion and counterfeiting.

Gary McIlraith, chief executive at NetNames, said: "Before the internet evolves further, brands must develop an effective online strategy that protects both their intellectual property and online customers.

"Only then, will they be able to take advantage of the opportunities that the new gTLDs offer to strengthen customer relationships and grow revenues."

ICANN, the body that oversees gTLDs, had previously restricted the number to 22, including .com, .net and .org, but opened up applications for new ones in 2011.

Applying for a new gTLD costs a company $185,000, with the fee kept whether or not the claim is accepted, plus a yearly fee of $25,000 if it is approved.

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Concerned companies can register at ICANN’s Trademark Clearinghouse to gain first refusal on domain names on gTLDs.

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