Samsung has become the first company to sign a Registry Agreement for a dot-brand gTLD.
As of yesterday, the electronics giant is now officially contracted with ICANN to run .삼성, its name in its native Korean.
It’s surprising that Samsung would be the first; while its application has priority number 18, its application also makes it pretty obvious it’s a primarily defensive move, reading:
The new gTLD proposed by SAMSUNG SDS has purpose in protecting online brand of SAMSUNG Group including SAMSUNG by defending abusive registration by third parties and further raising global awareness by domain usage utilizing company name.
The contract has not yet been published in full — expect that over the next few days — so it’s not yet clear whether Samsung has managed to negotiate any special dot-brand-specific amendments.
The base Registry Agreement contains lots of obligations, such as Sunrise periods, that really aren’t applicable to single-registrant spaces.
I understand the new Brand Registry Group is currently trying to negotiate a baseline set of dot-brand amendments with ICANN, so it’s possible that Samsung has jumped the gun by signing so soon.
But it could also mean that .삼성 will be the first-ever dot-brand TLD to go live on the internet, which is likely to benefit from substantial media coverage compared to subsequent delegations.
ICANN has signed 48 new gTLD contracts since July, way behind its originally target of 40 per week.
.삼성 will have its back-end registry managed by .kr ccTLD operator KISA.