The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the organization responsible for managing domain names and internet addresses, recently announced its board of directors approved a plan to overhaul the internet's domain name system radically.
The new plan will dramatically increase the number of available domain name endings, known as generic top-level domains, or gTLDs. Currently, only 22 gTLDs are available, including popular options, such as .com, .net and .org.
The change will enable companies to purchase top-level domain names that reflect their brands. This may have important implications for intellectual property, as organizations work to attain gTLDs that will benefit them.
Peter Dengate Thrush, chairman of ICANN's board of directors, said the decision "will usher in a new internet age." According to Thrush, ICANN's decision provides "a platform for the next generation of creativity and inspiration."
ICANN president and CEO Rod Beckstrom added that the new domains will "unleash the global human imagination."
The decision comes after many years of debate and discussion in the internet community. According to ICANN, applications for new gTLDs will be accepted from January 12 to April 12, 2012.