Branded Domain Name Extension

Beginning in January 2012, a new landscape of opportunity is opening on the internet. At that time, brand owners will be able to apply for and own their own domain name extension. For example, the PepsiCo, Inc. will be able to own ".pepsi" as a domain in addition to "pepsi.com".

This new opportunity represents a shift in the way the internet may be used for marketing, e-commerce and communication generally. By establishing its own domain, a company can exert significant control over access, use and content. It is roughly equivalent to owning a private beach in a crowded section of the Jersey shore.

Only large companies are expected to take advantage of these new domains early on, however. The acquisition cost is expected to approach $185,000, and this fee does not include the associated costs of setting up a registry, testing and compliance among other costs. It isn't cheap to acquire a private internet.

If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, or other issues concerning your brand management and trademark protection, do not hesitate to contact an attorney from our Trademarks and IP Practice Group.