Two companies trading under the name Del Monte are involved in the first-to-be-revealed Legal Rights Objection, over the .delmonte gTLD, under the new gTLD program.
The World Intellectual Property Organization revealed the LRO — expected to be the first of many — this evening.
The applicant for .delmonte is a subsidiary of Fresh Del Monte Produce, Inc. The objector is Del Monte Corp.
Both companies are primarily known for canning fruit. According to Wikipedia, Fresh Del Monte was spun off from Del Monte in 1989 and continues to have a licensing arrangement to use the brand.
The deal apparently doesn’t extend to playing nicely over gTLDs, however.
Del Monte does business at delmonte.com, while Fresh Del Monte lives at freshdelmonte.com.
Legal Rights Objections allow trademark owners to challenge gTLD applications that look too much like their marks. It looks like Del Monte has a pretty good case, on the face of it.
Emerging new gTLD back-end player CentralNic today suffered a two-hour blackout of its registry systems, due to a “total power failure” at its data center.
Its registry, which handles subdomain services such as uk.com and gb.com and the ccTLD .la, was offline from 0930 to 1130 UTC this morning, the company said.
Even though the company has all the necessary backup precautions you’d expect from a total-uptime domain name registry, for some reason they failed to kick in, it seems.
The data centre is equipped with fully resilient power supply including N+1 redundant [Uninterruptible Power Supply] arrays and backup diesel generators, and the exact cause of the outage, and why the UPS and diesel generator system did not take over to maintain power, is not yet known.
The company is the named back-end provider for 60 gTLD applications, including a handful of dot-brands.
Coming so soon before ICANN starts the pre-delegation testing of registry providers, the outage is embarrassing to say the least.
Alain Pellet, the new gTLD program’s Independent Objector, has filed 24 official objections against new gTLD applications.
Five of its 13 Community Objections are against dot-brands that have geographical meanings — Amazon’s .amazon and three translations, an outdoor clothing maker’s bid for .patagonia and a Mumbai cricket team’s application for .indians.
Other recipients are the two applications for .charity and the one for the Chinese translation .慈善.
Every other objection is related in some way to health.
The remaining six Community Objections target .med, .health, .healthcare and .hospital bids.
Limited Public Interest Objections have also been filed against the four .health applications, .healthcare, the four .med bids and the one .hospital.
That’s right, the .hospital and .healthcare applications, both filed by Donuts subsidiaries, have been hit twice.
Donuts is not the only one: Google’s .med bid has a Community Objection and a Limited Public Interest objection too.
The reasons for the objections do not appear to have been published yet.
The objections stand to delay each of the target apps by about five months, according to ICANN’s timetable.
The full list of IO objections can be found here.
Portfolio gTLD applicant Donuts plans to offer trademark owners defensive registrations at 5% to 10% of the cost of a normal domain name registration, co-founder Richard Tindal said today.
Speaking at the Digital Marketing & gTLD Strategy Congress here in New York, Tindal also revealed some of Donuts’ current thinking about the Domain Protected Marks List service outlined in its gTLD applications.
DPML, which was created by Donuts rather than ICANN, is a little like ICM Registry’s Sunrise B service for .xxx — trademark owners will be able to block domains related to their trademarks.
DPML domains will not resolve, and there’ll be no annual renewal fee.
But there will likely be several differences with .xxx, as Tindal explained.
How to get a block
Each DPML listing will block a string across all of Donuts’ gTLDs, which could be as many as 307 (if Donuts wins all of its contention sets), potentially reducing administrative headaches for trademark owners.
Second, while ICM only allowed strings to be blocked that exactly matched the trademark, Donuts’ standard will merely be that the blocked domain contains the trademarked string.
Trademark owners will have to buy a DPML listing for each string they want blocked, however. It’s not going to be a “wildcard” system. ING wouldn’t be able to block everything ending in “ing”.
If Microsoft wanted to block microsoft.tlds and microsoftwindows.tlds, it would have to request both of those strings separately, but the blocks would be place across every Donuts TLD.
The standard for inclusion is probably going to be that the trademark is listed in the official Trademark Clearinghouse, and that it would qualify for a Sunrise registration (ie, it’s actually being used).
Trademarks that qualify for the Trademark Claims service but not Sunrise would not, it seems, qualify for DPML.
There’s also going to be a way for trademark owners to un-block domains that have been blocked by other trademark owners.
If Apple the gadget maker blocked the string “apple” across all Donuts gTLDs, for example, Apple Records would be able to unblock apple.music (if Donuts wins .music) if it had a trademark on “apple” in the TMCH.
The standard again would be that Apple Records qualified for a Sunrise, but the unblocking could actually happen long after the .music Sunrise period was over.
If Apple the gadget maker thought it might want to use apple.tld domains in future, its best best would be to register the domains during Sunrise, Tindal said.
DPML listings would be available for either five or 10 years (Donuts hasn’t decided yet, but it’s leaning towards five) and pricing will probably be between 5% and 10% of the cost of registering the domains normally during general availability, Tindal said.
Let’s say, for example, that Donuts wins only a certain number of its contention sets and ends up launching 200 new gTLDs, each of which is priced at $10 per domain per year.
If the 5-10% price estimate holds, trademark owners would have to pay between $0.50 and $1 per string, per gTLD, per year. For a single trademark, that would be between $100 and $200 per year, or $500 to $1,000 over the five-year period of the block.
It doesn’t sound like there’s going to be an option for trademark owners to block their sensitive strings in only selected, relevant Donuts gTLDs using DPML. It’ll be all or none.
Donuts has not yet disclosed its pricing plans for any of its proposed gTLDs, so the numbers used here are of course just examples. They could be higher or lower when the domains come to market.
In addition, if the string in question is a “premium” generic word in one or more of Donuts’ gTLDs, the price of blocking it could head sharply north.
Tindal noted that the plans outlined during today’s conference session represent Donuts’ current thinking and may be subject to change.
The formative domain name industry trade association that DI has blogged about a few times recently has found itself a web site.
The Google-backed initiative can be found now at WhatDomain.org, which currently carries a bit of brief information about the organization’s rough plans and a call for potential members to get in touch.
The site states:
We are organizing to help educate the world on the coming changes in the domain landscape and to support the interests of the domain name industry. We are inviting any organization with a similar interest in domains to join us in working to create and launch an organization that will enable us to work together to achieve these objectives.
The association will eventually have membership tiers and fees, but those details have yet to be arranged.
We understand that while new gTLD applicant Google is doing most of the “heavy lifting” getting the project off the ground, the company wants to go as arms-length as possible very quickly.
The first informal meeting of what may or may not become officially known as WhatDomain took place at during an intersessional ICANN meeting in Amsterdam this January.
The idea is to promote new gTLDs and domain names in general, raise the reputation of the industry and promote the universal acceptance of TLDs among software developers.
During a session here at the Digital Marketing & gTLD Strategy Congress in New York yesterday, ICANN head of stakeholder engagement Sally Costeron seemed to commit ICANN to help support the initiative.