Beginning in January 2012, brands, trademarks and other terms can be registered as top-level domains — which include .com, .net, .org and .edu — opening the door for domain name battles.

Francis X. Taney, Jr., a Litigation shareholder with Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, anticipates the ability to register specific domains will devalue the generic dot-com counterparts due to the sheer number of possibilities.

"Nobody has exclusive rights to use Philly," Taney explained; the term is part of hundreds of trademarks. "It's a nickname for the city and really for the region."

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) appears to agree with Taney's assessment — that geographical and regional nicknames will prove a particularly heated market — and suggests cities submit their own applications for domain names.