Canon, the global electronics company headquartered in Japan, has broken ranks with multinational companies around the world to publicly say they intend to apply for the .CANON generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) when ICANN begins accepting applications, possibly later this year.
The surprising announcement comes about as trademark bodies around the world are fighting to stop the introduction of new gTLDs, and if not, to ensure the strings of characters in domain names contain as few trademarked names as possible, even if there are legitimate registrants of domain names containing such strings that may be trademarked in another activity or have another use.
In its announcement, Canon says that “following approval for the new gTLD system, which is expected to take place after the latter half of 2011, Canon will make full use of the new domain name to increase the convenience and effectiveness of its online communications.”
It is also interesting to note that the first multinational company to express an interest in a gTLD is not American, where trademark and copyright lawyers have been fighting the introduction hard.
With many potential applicants of brand name gTLDs waiting to see what their competitors or other large companies are doing, this move could see others dipping their hats into the ring, so to speak, and announcing their own plans.
To date, potential applicants have been dominated by city or regional names (.BERLIN, .PARIS, .CYM – Wales, .SCO – Scotland) or special interests (.SHOP, .HOTEL, .GAY).