Rise of the TLDs: an interview with Kurt Pritz


As ICANN prepares to launch its new top level domain programme, WIPR talks to Kurt Pritz, senior vice president of stakeholder relations at ICANN, about how IP owners will be protected.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is preparing to change the way the average user interacts with the Internet. On June 20, ICANN’s board of directors, convening in Singapore during one the corporation’s annual meetings, approved a plan to increase the number of Internet domain name endings.

There are currently 272 top level domains (TLD), including .com, .org and .net., and country code TLDs such as .co, .uk and .cn When the application process for new TLDs opens in January 2012, ICANN will officially open the Internet’s doors to potentially thousands more.

Almost any word will be eligible for adoption as a TLD under the new programme, meaning that the Internet could be personalised by businesses, brands, governments and individuals alike. The new TLD programme will also see internationalised domain names (IDN)— domain name endings that are made up of non-Latin characters, such as those used in the Arabic or Chinese languages—become widely available.

ICANN, TLD applications, UDRP