IP lawyers gird for trademark issues amid domain name expansion:
NEW YORK, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Intellectual property attorneys are focused on guarding against misuse of their clients' brand names and trademarks ahead of the massive expansion of Internet domain names, which is expected to begin by the end of 2013. The expansion is forcing brand owners to decide which of their marks to actively protect, including through registering Internet address ownership themselves. The new system, which was announced in 2011 and designed to allow more personalization of Internet addresses, allows a wide increase in the number of so-called "top-level domain names," such as .com, .org or .edu. Applicants can even seek to register for domains that end with a topic, such as .wine or .golf, or with a company name. The number of top-level domain names is expected to leap from 22 to about 1,000 . . . The registration fee of $185,000 per top-level domain name has also served as a deterrent . . . .
Small businesses lose domain names as they wait too long to register their company: "Over a quarter of of small business owners wait months after they’ve registered their company name to register their domain name, risking losing out on their preferred .com or .co.uk web address, according to new research.With so many small businesses going to Companies House before they check for their desired domain name, 1 in 5 (22%) actually lose their preferred name and have to settle for a name not related to their company at all (21%). . . . "
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