Apple applies for the .apple top-level domain

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today posted a list of nearly two thousand companies that applied for generic top-level domain names that will go into effect in 2013.

These are basically Internet domain name extensions such as the familiar .com, .net or .org.

Among the applicants is California-based Apple, which applied for the .apple top-level domain. Google, Amazon and other tech companies also sent their applications…

Unlike second-level domains, top-level domains don’t exactly come cheap, fetching a cool $25,000 a year. More importantly, they are held to much higher security standards so their owners are expected to manage trademark take-downs if brands complain.

Companies that cannot fulfill those requirements can expect ICANN to demand their top-level domain back.

Rod Beckstrom, president and CEO of ICANN explains:

This is a serious technical operation to run a top-level domain, completely different from a second-level domain. For the security of the internet, you have to do this right.

Slashgear reports that Google has apparently applied for more than a hundred top-level domains, including of course .google and .android.

Should ICANN approve Apple’s applications, .apple should go live some time during the second quarter of 2013.

It’s just another way of strengthening Apple’s brand on the Internet.

Like other big companies, Apple’s been relentlessly going after individuals who register domain names containing Apple brand names in the hope of pocketing a little profit from duping users into visiting ad-laden web pages.

For example, having filed a dispute with WIPO, Apple has secured ownership of the and recently forced a guy in Poland to relinquish ownership of and a bunch of other misspelled domain names.

Just don’t expect the next iPhone to be called the iPhone 5 just because Apple owns the domain: it’ll likely just be forwarded to