Looking at the draft flow chart that ICANN has posted for the process of obtaining new extensions, it looks like it may not be a quick and easy process as the press described.
Certainly you can count next year out.
An extension can be knocked out by if it is “too similar to reserved names or existing TLD’s and /or likely to cause instability.”
If it passes that test it still can be knocked out if someone files an objection, on any one of 4 grounds:
- String Confusion
- Existing legal rights
- Morality and Public Order
Interesting that one of the objections is stated as “existing legal rights” which is very ambiguous which would certain go further than just trademarks and may cover,
as discussed a few days ago, keywords on the left side of the dot trying to be made into a keyword on the right of the dot, especially for long established sites.