Is This a Sign of the First New gTLD?

June 26, 2012

By Doug Isenberg

As JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon recently testified, “To a hammer, everything is a nail.”

To me (a domain name attorney helping clients navigate ICANN’s launch of new global top-level domain names, or gTLDs), I suppose everything is a domain name issue.

Case in point, this billboard I just spotted at the Denver airport for a company called MWH, which apparently has provided “wet infrastructure” services since 1820:

As I asked in a similar recent blog post about another sign: What, exactly, is the website address (that is, the URL) in this advertisement?

Could it be “global.trade”? Today, no. But next year, maybe so. Indeed, “.trade” is one of the 1,930 gTLD applications that ICANN recently revealed it has received.

The mission or purpose of the proposed “.trade” gTLD, applied for by Elite Registry Limited of Gibraltar, is “to create a blank canvas for the online trade sector set within a secure environment.”

Think what you want, but “.trade” someday could become a popular gTLD. In which case, companies such as MWH (whose real URL appears in relatively small type at the bottom of the billboard shown above) will need to be more careful about what they include in their advertisements — to avoid unintentionally confusing their audience about their website address.

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