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We've seen companies buy patents, not to make products, but to prevent other companies from manufacturing them or to shake them down for licensing fees. I'd bet dollars to Donuts that this will happen with the expanded Internet world of gTLDs, too.
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Drew Jensen's profile photoSteven Vaughan-Nichols's profile photo
 
I doubt it, at least not in a way that is at all similar. There will be a need, or desire, from some commercial firms to acquire 2nd tier names with the new gTLD's to protect brands but that is not the same thing at all. The cost of acquiring a full blown gTLD is not astronomical but still rather high and as part of the process the buyer (or buyers) must show how they will use it, this is not a purchase in that you don't just meet the price and it is yours.
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