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New Internet Domain Name Proposal Could Seriously Impact Your Brands

A proposal to greatly expand the availability of "top level domains" or "TLDs" could have a very serious impact on your company's brands.  We need your immediate input on this matter.

The International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the international non-profit group that is responsible for coordinating the Internet addressing system.  Currently, the domain name system is limited to 21 "generic" TLDs (.com, .org, .net etc.).  ICANN has proposed greatly expanding the domain system by allowing a company, group or individual anywhere in the world to purchase a new TLD that includes virtually any word or phrase, including company or brand names.  Thus, a domain name broker, a cyber-squatter or even a competitor could attempt to purchase a new top level domain name that includes your company's brands.  Marketers with multiple brands could be forced to spend thousands, and potentially in some cases millions of dollars to protect those brands in the global marketplace.

We have very serious concerns about this proposal.  ANA's General Counsel's law firm (Reed Smith) has prepared an alert describing the proposal and the potential costs and implications for all marketers.  Reed Smith will be filing comments on behalf of ANA expressing our growing concerns about this proposal.  Those comments are due on December 8th and we need your input on how this proposal would impact your company's brands.

You may also consider filing individual comments from your company on this matter at http://www.icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/comments-en.htm

We have previously contacted ANA's Washington Reps and Legal Affairs Reps on this issue.  As a result of their input, we also wanted to alert you to this important matter.

If you have any questions about this matter, please contact Dan Jaffe in ANA's Washington, DC office at djaffe@ana.net or 202-296-2359.

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