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Strange New Brew: Reading the Tea Leaves in the New TLD Cauldron

The webinar slides are available for download below.

By the time the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) held its semi-annual meeting in Prague at the end of June, it had all the ingredients for a strange new brew: more than 1,900 applications from the first round of its new Top-Level Domain Name (TLDs) program, almost 40 percent of which are for the same 230 strings; applicants with almost $360 million in application fees on the line; a new interim program director; and lots of heat, including push-back and criticism from industry insiders, government stakeholders, interested parties and observers. But it seems the agency has no clear recipe for how make the outcome palatable, with ICANN making and rescinding announcements about the next steps in the process, suspending the digital archery batching process, plunging into simultaneous evaluation of applications while seeking comment organization of the process and admitting it is already six months behind schedule. Meanwhile, the timer is still running on the public comment and formal objection period, as well as the time for competing applicants to decide privately which will own the 230 contested strings, leaving many wondering if--not when--their costly investments might begin to deliver returns.

How will ICANN tackle the monumental task of promptly evaluating applications, including more than 750 for the most sought-after domains? If these most popular domains won't be the first to make it through the evaluation process--and they will not--which ones will, and when? And how will ICANN weigh factors that could affect an applicant's ultimate success as a registry owner, such as the strength of its financial backing and marketing plan, especially for those applicants that have applied for numerous uncontested domains? How will the order and timing of delegation support or retard the market for generic and branded TLDs?

Although the brew remains cloudy and the cauldron seems ready to boil over, this webinar will provide insights into the TLD evaluation and delegation process and the future market for TLDs that will help you read the tea leaves, educate your stakeholders, and adjust your organization's strategy. The panel will provide:

  • Perspectives from leading brand owners and internet businesses
  • Analyses of the currently available information, including who's in, who's not, which strings are the most popular, and how those contested strings will affect the rest of the marketplace
  • Experience and market conversations
  • First-hand information on what happened in Prague-and why it matters

Join Loeb & Loeb LLP attorneys Daniel D. Frohling, partner in the Intellectual Property Protection Practice Group, and Jessica B. Lee, an associate in the Advanced Media and Technology Department, along with industry participants including Sanjiv D. Sarwate, Principal Legal Counsel, Trademarks and Copyrights of Dell, Inc., and Edward A. White, co-founder and chief operating officer of TLD Assets LLC, for this exciting and interactive roundtable discussion.