This is called a land rush period. During this time, those with registered trademarks will be able to apply for domains that include their names. In the case that two apply for the same domain, an auction will determine who can use it. The benefit of this technique is that those who actually own their trademarks will have the opportunity to have first choice; however, the next stage could get trick. Anybody might be able to apply for a brand name or trademark, leaving others in the dust.
In some cases, brand owners will have the opportunity to persuade third-party domain name owners to give them names with their own trademarks on a voluntary basis. Acting quickly could be the best approach for everybody involved, and the registrar is trying to make the process as clean-cut as possible for trademark owners. Brand owners will be encouraged to ask for their domains early on, before the owner has made a significant investment in the name.
This could very well be the start of a new trend. Locations around the world may turn to using these domains as a way to build up local marketing potential.