The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' (ICANN) deadline for companies to apply for their own unique generic top-level domains (gTLD) is midnight tonight, and London has submitted its application with very little time to spare.

For the first time websites will be able to branch out of the 19 standard gTLDs that are currently available, including .com and .gov, and purchase gTLDs that may include a company name, such as .Apple, or words in non-Latin languages, such as Chinese or Arabic.

It has been confirmed this week that London's PR agency, London & Partners, has appointed Minds and Machines, a company focused exclusively on acquiring and operating new gTLDs, to assist with its application to buy the .London gTLD.

London & Partners' decision to apply comes quite late considering applications have been being accepted by ICANN since January. However, a spokesperson for the agency said that it had been "thinking of applying for a while."

"We are delighted to be working with Minds and Machines on the dot London application and are confident that the initiative will bring important additional revenue and jobs to the capital," said Gordon Innes, CEO at London & Partners.

"The dot London domain provides a tremendous opportunity to extend the global presence of London across the internet, and likewise position it as a centre of digital innovation," he added.

"We believe we are now excellently placed to benefit from the unprecedented opportunities provided by the de-regulation of the Internet naming system."

The introduction of new gTLDs has divided opinion in the industry, with some claiming that it forces companies to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds in fear of not securing their own company name and adds confusion to a system that was fairly simple.Whereas, others argue it will be an opportunity for companies to exploit new branding and advertising opportunities.

The standard application cost for a company applying to ICANN for a gTLD is $185,000 (£120,000).

In January, ICANN's president and CEO Rod Beckstrom was forced to defend plans to open up gTLDs after a number of objections and complaints were put forward to the group.

He said: "[The Internet] is going to look more like the world, and it's going to look less like one individual country."