Donuts’ new gTLD .exposed goes into sunrise today, but will it put the fear into trademark owners?
It’s arguably the first “ransom” TLD to go live in the current round and the first since .xxx, which scared mark holders into blocking over 80,000 domains back in late 2011.
Most new gTLD sunrise periods to date — most of which have been focused on vertical niches — have had sunrise registrations measured in tens or hundreds rather than thousands.
But .exposed, I would say, is in the same free speech zone as yet-to-launch .sucks and .gripe, which lend themselves well to having a company, product or personal name at the second level.
Brand protection registrars are encouraging their clients to pay special attention to this type of gTLD.
Will this cause a spike in sunrise sales for Donuts over the next 60 days?
It might be difficult to tell, given that Donuts also offers brand owners a blocking mechanism via the Domain Protected Marks List service, so the domains don’t show up in the zone files.
But DPML blocks can be overturned by others with matching trademarks, so some trademark owners may decide to register the name instead for an overabundance of caution.