gTLD Second Round Announcement

This week’s big news is that ICANN is committed to launching the new gTLD second application round in Quarter 2 2026. For potential applicants, this provides those organisations with the clarity to commence the preparations for their own dotBrand applications. Naturally, there may be some challenges for applicants and their advisors to navigate, but the publication of the timeline should give all potential dotBrand applicants a compelling reason to make a start.

In the first application round, back in 2012, many organisations scrambled to submit applications for fear of missing out and consequently did not develop their own dotBrand strategy or align internal stakeholders accordingly. Consequently, some organisations struggled to see the value in their application(s) and are yet to actively use their dedicated digital space.

With the benefit of hindsight, and with two years from now to get it right, the second application round will be a significant opportunity for organisations to develop a detailed strategic plan for how they will derive value from a dotBrand. For some organisations it may not be clear why they should consider an application as part of their digital strategy. That’s why Com Laude’s Feasibility and Landscape assessment provides an initial overview and recommendations on key aspects of a dotBrand application, including:

  • Whether an application for a specific string or brand is possible based on existing intellectual property usage and ICANN’s own rules and regulations.
  • What the competitive landscape looks like from Round 1, and the likelihood of potential competitor applications.
  • Existing keyword usage in your domain portfolio and opportunity assessment for additional or alternative dotBrand strings.

Com Laude supported over 100 TLDs applications in the first round and continues to support clients in terms of innovative models, use cases and effective management of their dotBrand registry. Many of the biggest, most respected, and valuable organisations in the world trust the Com Laude team to manage their dotBrand ecosystem, collaborate on deployment and ensure their dotBrand remains fully compliant with ICANN regulations. Thus allowing them to concentrate on their core business objectives, aside from running a Top-Level Domain Registry.

It has been over a decade since the last opportunity to apply for a dedicated domain namespace, and it is unclear when future application windows will be open post 2026. So now is the time for organisations to be looking to gain a competitive advantage in their very own zero-abuse digital space.

Utilising Com Laude’s world-leading expertise provides clients with the opportunity to create a strategic plan, assess feasibility, engage stakeholder groups, develop use cases, and understand the potential hurdles ahead. Our team of industry experts, with decades of TLD knowledge from successfully navigating the ICANN landscape, provides the required guidance from feasibility through to the successful launch of a dotBrand. Please contact our team to discuss how we can help you turn your dotBrand idea into your future digital reality.

Com Laude Intelligence: and the client-shaped provider asks “What do our clients think so far?”

It has been fantastic to witness clients’ responses, when our domain strategist team show them the domain security and portfolio insights and portfolio visualisations in Intelligence.

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