I'm sure this is a boon for the prawn industry. But why would someone buy this up to protect a trademark? Seems pretty tenuous to me. I mean, if you were Googling and saw webmasterworld dot #*$!, what would you expect to see if you clicked on the link? prawn, or a scam.
Wheel, it almost appears to be part of the business model of every new gTLD that is launched - "PROTECT YOUR TRADEMARK". Ergo, the so-called "sunrise period" for every new gTLD.
Sunrise, shmunrise! PERIOD! Any further "protect your brand" activity and the whole bunch - ICANN included - needs to be indicted under RICO for running a shakedown racket.
I say "Sorry, no, how about YOU - the new registry - bear the burden and cost of protecting famous (Microsoft, Google, etc.) brands!"
This has become a matter of sheer money grabbing by ICANN (gTLD application fees, registry renewal fees, etc.) AND every registry that thinks its only duty is to "sunrise" brands - to allow famous brands "to protect" themselves . . from the absolutely predictable - "Hey, I wanna be Google.x x x !" - outcome of releasing a new gTLD.
If ICANN wants to play the unlimited gTLD game then the ONLY sane approach to brand protection is to have 1 SUNRISE - PERIOD. 1 SUNRISE where every major, global, undeniable brand is established and BARRED from further/future registration UNDER ALL new gTLDS.
Let the applicant who wants to register a Brand.NewGTLD come forward with proof, on notice to the other 1-time-sunrised brands, to "really apply" to register Brand.NewGTLD - not just by whipping out a credit card but by a hearing process that shows bona fide TM rights sufficient to allow the inception of Brand.NewGTLD.
[edited by: Webwork at 4:22 pm (utc) on Oct 13, 2011]