ICANN Receives 1,930 Applications for New Generic Top-Level Domains; Applied-for Domain Names Subject to Objection Within 7 Months

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced recently that it has received 1,930 applications for generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) - the right-most character strings in Internet domain names - as of 30 May 2012, the deadline for the round of submissions for gTLD applications starting January 2012 under the new domain naming system The full list of the applied-for gTLDs is now available on ICANN’s website.
As distinguished from the existing 22 gTLDs including the familiar “.com”, ".net”, or “.org”, the more liberalized naming policy allows companies and organizations to choose essentially arbitrary top-level domains, including the use of non-Latin characters such as Chinese and Arabic. Each submission costs an initial application fee of US$185,000.
Among the applications filed from various regions of the world (North America: 911; Europe: 675; Asia/Pacific: 303; Latin America/Caribbean: 24; Africa: 17), 40 were from the mainland China. SINA and Tencent filed respectively for ".微博" and ".WEIBO”, while some enterprises applied for their own business names as the new gTLDs, such as “联通" by China Unicom “诺基亚" by Nokia, and “工行" by Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.
A public comment period of 60 days and an objection period of 7 months for the gTLDs in application have started. Formal objection can be filed against an application on certain grounds such as string confusion and legal interest as posted on ICANN's website.
Some names proved to be particularly popular, for instance, over 10 applications were submitted for each of ".app”, ".inc” and ".home”. In case of multiple applications for the same gTLD, the applicants are expected to negotiate with one another for a resolution, and if that fails, an auction will be held for the domain name in question.