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The Opportunity and Challenge of Internationalized Domain Names

December 3, 2009
2:00 p.m.

Steven Metalitz will speak during Intellectual Property Owners Association's weekly one-hour webinar on current topics in IP.

At the October ICANN meeting in Seoul, brand owners got a break: ICANN decided to go slow on introducing controversial new generic top-level domain names. But at the same meeting, ICANN also approved the biggest technical change to the Internet since it was created four decades ago. The new Internationalized Domain Names Fast Track Process will enable countries and territories that use languages based on scripts other than Latin to offer their users domain names in non-Latin characters. Reports indicate that 25 countries are interested and the first round of registrations began in November.

Brand owners will soon be able to communicate with millions of people who don’t use Roman characters, but the job of domain name searching and policing also grows much bigger. Discussing the changes are a law firm attorney intimately involved in the ICANN process, a top Internet official at a country about to launch a suffix in its own non-Latin language, and the top in-house trademark lawyer at a major global corporation.

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