.canon: Canon wants to establish its own top-level domain

Megalomania or genius marketing move? Canon seriously takes aim at becoming the world’s first company with its own generic top-level domain (gTLD), namely “.canon”. The new domain would join the likes of .com, .edu, .gov, .org, etc. (Wikipedia has the full list). The Japanese electronics giant announced [press release in English] its plan to acquire the rights for the domain from ICANN today.

Canon says they “will make full use of the new domain name to increase the convenience and effectiveness of its online communications” and expects the new domain to be in place sometime after 2011. ICANN used to strictly control and restrict gTLDs until the organization decided to liberalize its policy in 2008.

Basically anyone can apply for a gTLD – as long as they’re ready to spend a few hundred thousand dollars for registration and other procedures. Apparently not too big a problem for Canon, which generated revenues worth $35 billion in fiscal 2009.