ICANNs Big Reveal Day revealed what everyone expected. Thousands of applicants applied for thousands of new gTLDs (generic top-level domains). The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers revealed the list of who applied for which top-level domains.
Some of the applicants and the names they applied for are no surprise. Large companies applied for TLDs that are the same as their names, for example, Google applied for .google and .youtube. Abbott Laboratories applied for .abbott.
But there are other TLDs that have many applicants. For example, the .app domain has been applied for by 13 different applicants, some of which appear suspiciously like what I suppose you would call domain trolls that intend to buy a domain and then see how much they can con someone into paying for it. The TLD .airforce, for example, wasnt applied for by any nations air force, but by a domain-name holding company.
Some domain applications seem to have applications from seemingly equal groups. The domain .cruise applications are from two different cruise lines. Others, like .diy are being competed for by groups of holding companies. But still others, such as .foodnetwork, are being applied for only by a single domain brokerage. You can guess who theyll try to sell that one to.
Whats happened here is that a number of companies failed to protect their trademarks, and now theyre finding that someone else has applied for the TLD, and if they want it, theyll have to put up with either a trademark lawsuit or fork over a ton of cash to get it.
Most of the really big companies out there apparently have marketing officers savvy enough to know that applying for a TLD in their name was a good way to protect their trademark, and to ensure that their customers wouldnt be confused by an email or a Website that seems to be theirs, but isnt.
So whats going to happen when this all shakes out? For many applicants, the process will be straightforward. Theyre either the trademark holder and they were the only applicant for a domain, so they will get it; or they represent a region, such as the applicant for .barcelona, which represents the region. Theyll also get their choice.
Then there are the vast numbers of domain trolls that have applied for names such as .shop, and no matter what ICANN does, therell probably be a fight.