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Three Easy Steps to Help You Prepare for New gTLDs

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New-TLDsSince 2009 we have been talking about how New Top Level Domains (New gTLDs) were going to come online in scores. Well, it appears that the domain frenzy has just begun!

Donuts Inc., a new registry services company, is at the forefront of the expansion. Applying for an astounding 307 New gTLDs, Donuts is leading the way in term of getting New gTLDs online. This week the company added 15 more TLDs to the Internet’s root zone. Today there are 31 new extensions accepting applications. If you are a brand, thats 31 domains you’ll have to consider registering — and that number is going to increase to over 600 very quickly.

Here are three easy steps you can take now to be ready for all these new extensions.

Step 1: Register Your Trademarks in the Trademark Clearinghouse

Each new registry, the entity that operates a new gTLD, is required to hold a “Sunrise Period“. This period gives rights holders the opportunity to register domain names matching their registered trademarks before anyone else can access the TLD. The Trademark Clearinghouse, or TMCH, was designed to make registering domain names in this period simple, and is a prerequisite to registering a domain name in the Sunrise Period.

Once you register your mark in the TMCH, you will be able to quickly and easily register a domain name matching your trademark across all available TLDs. Registering a mark is simple, and can be done online.

Step 2: Plan Ahead – You DON’T Have to Register in ALL new gTLDs

Review the list of new gTLDs that have been applied for, and narrow down the list down until it is manageable. Find some nice niche keyword TLDs that fit your brand for example “sony.electronics”, or “kia.autos” — these are a given. Next, find any TLDs that need protecting, for example, “brand.sucks” “brandname.web”. Any consultant telling you to register in all new gTLDs has his head on backwards.

Chances are you have a limited budget, and you’d be wise to stretch that budget as far as you can. Take a look at self-managing your domain names. We make it simple, and we’ll never let your domain expire.

Step 3: Monitor the New Landscape

The TMCH also acts as the first line of defense for protecting your brand in New gTLDs. Anytime a third party tries to register a domain name matching your TMCH record, you’ll receive a notice. This will help you easily monitor the new gTLD landscape and take action quickly if necessary.

Learn more about the TMCH by watching the video below, or visit our registrar partner to get started with your TMCH registration today, and begin registering in the Sunrise period online.

 

A Look At How the New TLD Space is Shaping up in Japan

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As the New TLD Application deadline steadily approaches things are finally starting to become clear in Japan.

Here is a quick rundown on how things are shaping up in the Japanese market.

Brand TLDs:

Over the past few years I have been in meetings with dozens of brand holders, from large multinational corporations to small-medium sized local companies, each wondering how New gTLDs will impact their brand and online branding strategies.

Based on my own personal experience I expect around 40-50 .brand applications to come from Japan. Unfortunately, I suspect that a lot companies will submit applications just to “protect” their brands.  I hope that these companies’ TLDs will eventually evolve into a more creative and innovative use of the DNS, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. I also expect to see a few nation-wide companies embrace the opportunity as well. As we all know, Canon and Hitachi are the only Japanese companies that have publicly announced their intentions to apply.

City TLDs:

At this point only Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto (in that order) have completed the RFP process, evaluated potential applicants, and provided letters of support/letters of non-objection.  All three cities have explicitly stated that they are only supporting applications for the ASCII versions of the TLD.

Tokyo endorsed GMO Registry as the registry operator and Interlink as the backup registry operator.  Osaka recently gave permission to a total of four companies looking to apply (GMO Registry, Interlink, BusinessRalliart, and Future Spirits).  And finally, just yesterday, the government of Kyoto announced that have endorsed the Kyoto Jouhou Gakuen (Kyoto College of Graduate Studies for Informatics (KCGI)) as the applicant for .Kyoto.

Other governments seeking interested parties include:

 

Generic TLDs:

Only two companies have publicly anounced intentions to apply for generic strings. Those strings are .Shop (GMO Registry) and .SiTE (Interlink).  Both have a high probability of contention. Additionally, Interlink held a contest called the World Domain Cup in which Internet users voted for .earth, and Interlink is currently preparing the application.  I only expect around 5 to 7 generic applications form Japan, but sincerely  hope I’m wrong. Really wrong.

We’ll keep you posted!

ICANN Responds to .Brand Issues

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The summary and analysis for comments on the New gTLD Applicant Guidebook was made available earlier today.

Several well-known brands such as IBM, Adobe Systems, AT&T, Lego, Microsoft and Verizon commented on the most recent version of the Applicant Guidebook.  Most of these comments focused on the Rights Protection Mechanisms (RPMs) for trademark holders as well as special requirements required to run a .brand registry. Continue Reading →