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In bid for domains, Amazon and Google vie for similar names

Published: Thursday, June 14, 2012 1:20 a.m. CDT
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, ICANN, President and Chief Executive Rod Beckstrom, left, and Kurt Pritz, Senior Vice President speaks on expanding the number of domain name suffixes during a press conference, London, Wednesday June 13, 2012. Proposals for Internet addresses ending in ".pizza," ''.space" and ".auto" are among the nearly 2,000 submitted as part of the largest expansion in the online address system. Apple Inc., Sony Corp. and American Express Co. are among companies seeking names with their brands. The expansion will allow suffixes that represent hobbies, ethnic groups, corporate brand names and more. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers announced the proposals for Internet suffixes – the ".com" part of an Internet address – in London on Wednesday. Among the 1,930 proposals for 1,409 different suffixes, the bulk came from North America and Europe.

LOS ANGELES (MCT) – Google hopes to inherit the Earth – or at least .earth. And Amazon wants to bring you .joy. It’s probably no surprise that they both want .you.

Those were among the 1,930 applications for new generic top-level domain names, replacing the ubiquitous .com that we see on most commercial websites in an online land-grab that could be the largest expansion of the Internet’s domain-name system.

The domains are administered by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN.

Many of the applications are to be expected. Companies including broadcaster ABC, BMW Group and Yahoo Inc. staked their claim on their names. Interestingly, Nissan brought back its old brand in .datsun.

It’s no surprise that the company that already owns .xxx went for .adult and .porn.

Two companies in particular have a significant number of applications, and several that overlap. Amazon and Google (as Charleston Road Registry Inc.) went after .game, .movie, .wow for example.

Amazon seemed to focus on its core with .author, .book, .read and .buy.

Google selected some very interesting plays for specific career areas – .cpa, .esq, .phd and .prof among them. It’s also making a play for the family with .baby, .kids, .mom, .dad and .pet. It also went for .day but not .night, apparently.

Google is interested in the .here, and Amazon wants the .now. Amazon wants .zero and Google wants .zip.

Of the more curious ones Google applied for are .lol, .are, .boo, .foo and .rsvp. This may give some insight into what future forays it may have in mind.

And it did wade into that forever battle over the favorite family pet. It sought .dog but not .cat.

Somewhat surprisingly, Apple didn’t make a play for .music or .tunes or any of its iProducts. Just the company name.

Some municipalities got in on the action, so you might just see .Paris in the near future. Sixty-six of the applications are for geographic names, and 116 applications are for internationalized domain names in scripts such as Arabic, Chinese and Cyrillic, according to ICANN.

Wal-Mart applied for .george, for its George line of products in addition to .walmart, .samsclub and .asda, its British supermarket chain.

Others are a little lengthy. Johnson Shareholdings applied for .afamilycompany, its tagline. Similarly, Nationwide went for .onyourside. That’s a lot more to remember and type than .com.

Applications came from 60 countries and territories, with the majority (911) coming from North America and Europe (675), according to ICANN. About 300 applications came from the Asia-Pacific region, 24 from Latin America and the Caribbean and 17 from the continent of Africa.

Don’t start committing the vanity domains to memory quite yet. None of this is a done deal. This was just pulling back the veil from the blind submission aspect part of the process.

“A 60-day comment period begins today, allowing anyone in the world to submit comments on any application, and the evaluation panels will consider them,” ICANN Senior Vice President Kurt Pritz said in an emailed statement. “If anyone objects to an application and believes they have the grounds to do so, they can file a formal objection to the application. And they will have seven months to do that.”

That means people or companies can claim trademark violation or that a proposed domain is offensive.

The rest of the approval process will take at least a year or two as ICANN reviews every proposal and bidder, who must pass criminal background checks.

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