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Intellectual Property

E-Gold Mine Rush?

By Ashlee Froese of Keyser Mason Ball LLP

As the internet becomes an increasingly pervasive marketing tool for fashion companies, it's hard (and not very business savvy) to ignore developments on the internet.  Previously, CanadaFashionLaw gave our fashionista readers a head's up on looming developments with the internet.  

Well, the future is here! 

(Technically the application period has only recently it's still early days.)

Let's not get ahead of ourselves:

     The future is drawing near!

ICANN (the organization that basically runs the internet) has now opened the application process for parties that wish to run their own generic Top Level Domain ("gTLD") registry. (Read CanadaFashionLaw's previous article to get your internet geek on so you understand what a gTLD is).  The application process opened on January 12, 2012 and will close on April 12, 2012. 

What does this mean?

At this point, we're not quite sure; literally the sky is the limit!  With some companies openly stating that ICANN's extension is not warranted, we're not quite sure if companies will change their online branding strategies or how extensive they will be.  But putting on our cautious (and fabulously bedazzled) lawyer's hat, we do know that there will be at least some changes:

Will we see fashion brand owners run their own gTLD:


Do you think that fashion brands will join forces:


Or, do think that industries will unite for a global domain name registry:

Maybe baby.

What's the draw back?

There's a possibility that the expansion of the internet could create cybersquatting on steroids! Prudent and proactive brand owners can monitor the new gTLD applications on ICANN's website to determine if any third party proposed new gTLDs will infringe on their brand and/or trade-mark portfolio.  Thankfully, an objection option has been incorporated into the application process to afford brand owners the opportunity to "X" the proposed new gTLD.

View more from Canada Fashion Law and @BrandFashionLaw

(C) Ashlee Froese, 2011. All rights reserved.

The contents herein are for informational purposes and do not constitute legal advice. It is strongly recommended that you seek a professional legal opinion in the event of a legal dispute.