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NamesCon ticket winners selected

Kevin Murphy, December 16, 2013, Domain Services

Over the weekend we randomly selected the five winners of free tickets to the NamesCon conference.

To enter, all you had to do was leave a comment answering the question:

What’s the best way to explain the benefits of new gTLDs to somebody from outside the domain industry?

The prizes are free conference passes to NamesCon, which runs at the Tropicana hotel in Las Vegas from January 13 to 15.

The winners were picked using the random number generator at Random.org. By screen name, they are:

  1. JS
  2. Tony C
  3. Nic Steinbach
  4. Adam Strong
  5. Pat

They will be all contacted via email by DI today to arrange for ticket delivery.

Many thanks to everyone who participated. There were some interesting answers in there.

No costs to registries from TM Claims extension

Kevin Murphy, December 13, 2013, Domain Services

New gTLD registries will not have to pay any extra fees due to the Trademark Clearinghouse’s extension of the Trademark Claims service, according to the the TMCH.

When the TMCH announced a few days ago that it planned to extend Claims indefinitely — beyond the 90 days required by ICANN contract — a couple of gTLD registries asked me if it would mean more costs for them.

According to the TMCH, the answer is “no”.

The TMCH said in a statement (with my emphasis):

no additional costs will be charged to the registries

The Clearinghouse will create an extra interface that works separately from the existing trademark database interface for the 90 days Claims Notifications (during these 90 days registries have to pay 0.25 USD per registration when there is a successful registration matching a mark in the Clearinghouse). The 90+ interface will charge no such fee when there is an exact match.

The TMCH plans to use other means, such as scraping zone files, to provide the extended service.

TMCH extends Trademark Claims indefinitely, kinda

Kevin Murphy, December 11, 2013, Domain Services

The Trademark Clearinghouse is to give the intellectual property lobby something that it’s been crying out for for years — an indefinite extension of parts of the Trademark Claims service.

And it’s going to be free.

Trademark Claims is a mandatory service for all new gTLD operators, sending pre-registration warnings to registrants and post-registration alerts to mark owners whenever a domain matching a trademark is registered.

But it only runs for 90 days, per the ICANN new gTLD contracts, which TMCH project director Jan Corstens said is IP owners’ “number one complaint” about the system.

So the TMCH is going to extend the post-registration alerts half of the service indefinitely.

When the first new gTLDs officially end their Claims periods next year, the TMCH will continue to send out alerts to mark owners (or, in 90% of cases, their registrar “agents”) when matching domains are registered.

Would-be registrants will only receive their pre-registration warnings for the original 90-day period.

Corstens said that the pre-registration side of Claims would only be possible with the cooperation of registries and registrars, and that there’s a lot of reluctance to help out.

“A lot of them are not really interested in doing that,” he said. “I understand it takes work, and I understand they think it could demotivate potential registrants.”

Trademark owners that have directly registered with the Clearinghouse, rather than going through an agent, will get the extended service for no added charge.

However, Corstens made it clear that the TMCH is not trying to compete with registrars — such as MarkMonitor and Melbourne IT — that already offer zone file monitoring services to trademark owners.

“We know the market exists,” he said. “It’s not our intention to become a monopoly. We will deliver it to them, of course, and assume they can integrate with it.”

Agents will be able to plug the service into their existing products if they wish, he said.

There are a few initial limitations with the new TMCH service such that its registrar agents may not find it particularly labor-saving.

First, only domains that exactly match labels in the Clearinghouse will generate alerts.

By contrast, brand-monitoring registrars typically generate alerts when the trademark is a substring of the domain. To carry on doing this they’ll need to carry on monitoring zone files anyway.

Second, the TMCH service only currently covers new gTLDs applied for in the 2012 round. It doesn’t cover .com, for example, or any other legacy gTLD.

Corstens said both of these limitations may be addressed in future releases. The first Trademark Claims period isn’t due to end until March, so there’s time to make changes, he said.

He added that he hopes the extension of Claims will lead to an uptick in the the number of trademarks being registered in the TMCH. Currently there are about 20,000.

Win free tickets to NamesCon Las Vegas (even if you’ve already paid)

Kevin Murphy, December 9, 2013, Domain Services

We’ve got five (FIVE!) free tickets to NamesCon to give away to lucky DI readers.

NamesCon is “a pro-new TLDs conference” happening at the Tropicana hotel in Las Vegas from January 13 to 15, 2014.

It’s being organized by domain investor Richard Lau, Jothan Frakes (Domain Roundtable, DomainFest), and Jodi Chamberlain of 32Events (TRAFFIC, Domaining Europe)

NamesCon seems to be planning something a bit different when compared to new gTLD conferences held to date, judging by the speaker line-up, in that there’s more of a crossover between the ICANNer-heavy new gTLD industry and the traditional domainer community.

There’s a whole bunch of confirmed speakers and panelists (including yours truly) and the organizers tell us that over 300 people have so far registered to attend.

Tickets currently cost $399 (it’s $749 on the door) but we have five passes to give away to DI readers.

The organizers tell me that if any of the winners have already purchased a ticket, they’ll get a full refund.

To enter the draw, just leave an answer to the following question (set by NamesCon) in the comments section of this post.

What’s the best way to explain the benefits of new gTLDs to somebody from outside the domain industry?

Winners will be selected from comments using a random number generator at the weekend.

The prizes are 100% discount codes for full conference passes. You’ll still have to arrange and pay for your own travel and accommodation.

If you cannot or do not intend to attend, but still feel compelled to leave a comment, please say so, so I can be sure to exclude you from the draw.

Architelos offers entry-level NameSentry

Kevin Murphy, November 24, 2013, Domain Services

New gTLD software provider Architelos has released a cheaper version of its flagship NameSentry security compliance tool.

NameSentry Lite strips out the automated workflow and mitigation components found in the original, leaving the core threat reports and statistics intact.

It’s designed for smaller TLDs that don’t expect to see a lot of malware or phishing in their zones and it’s priced starting at $139 a month for a TLD with under 5,000 domains under management.

That’s about $100 cheaper than the standard NameSentry, which is geared more towards mitigation and has monthly charges ranging from $249 to $3,999, depending on zone size.

Boutique gTLDs and large portfolio registries such as DotKiwi and Donuts are early customers of the more-expensive version.

Pritz to head DNA trade group

Kevin Murphy, November 17, 2013, Domain Services

Former ICANN chief strategy officer Kurt Pritz has just been named interim executive director of the Domain Name Association, the trade group formed this year to promote the domain industry.

Pritz will “apply his track record in teambuilding and bringing together diverse skillsets to the knowledgeable and talented members of the Domain Name Industry” the group said.

He will participate in a DNA session later this week here in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where ICANN is currently holding its 48th public meeting.

If you’re in BA, the two-hour session will be held from 3pm on Wednesday at the Alvear ART Hotel, Suipacha 1036.

The DNA opened its doors for membership last month, and currently counts the likes of Google, Donuts, Demand Media and Go Daddy among its top-paying members.

RightOfTheDot to manage .club’s premium strategy

Kevin Murphy, November 14, 2013, Domain Services

.CLUB Domains has selected RightOfTheDot to manage its premium and founders program domains strategy.

The company named “a.club, 888.club, chess.club, poker.club, insurance.club, golf.club country.club, car.club” as examples of “category killer” names that RightOfTheDot will try to find homes for.

.CLUB signed its Registry Agreement with ICANN late last week and plans to go to Sunrise in January.

It’s among the top 30 most popular new gTLDs being pre-registered at 1&1 right now, and recently said it’s hoping to have five million domains under management within five years, an ambitious target.

RightOfTheDot is the new gTLD consultancy founded by domainers Mike Berkens and Monte Cahn.

Almost 15,000 trademarks registered in TMCH

Kevin Murphy, November 4, 2013, Domain Services

The new gTLD program’s Trademark Clearinghouse has almost 15,000 trademarks registered, according to a spokesperson.

We’re told today that there’s an average of about two labels for each registered mark, and that about half of all the marks have been registered for multiple years.

The TMCH offers registrations for one, three or five years.

Trademarks in non-Latin scripts currently account for just 3% (so roughly 450) of the registrations, which may be a cause for concern given that IDNs gTLDs will be many of the first to launch Sunrise periods.

The TMCH spokesperson added that registrations of “previously abused labels”, under what we used to call the Trademark+50 policy, are currently “low” because the service was only recently launched.

Trademark Clearinghouse: early bird pricing ends tomorrow

Kevin Murphy, November 4, 2013, Domain Services

Trademark owners take note: you have less than 24 hours to get your marks registered in the Trademark Clearinghouse if you want to take advantage of early bird discounted pricing.

A TMCH spokesperson told DI today that the early bird offer ends at 1200 UTC November 5. Its “agents” (registrars) were notified a week ago and today were given a final 24-hour grace period, she said.

This may come as something of a surprise to mark owners who haven’t been paying attention.

When the Clearinghouse went live in March, the TMCH said that the early registration offer would end when the first Sunrise period for the first new gTLD went live.

At the time, ICANN rules stated that registries would have to give 30 days notice before launching a Sunrise.

But these rules recently changed, giving registries the ability to launch immediately as long as the Sunrise runs for at least 60 days rather than the original 30.

And with dotShabaka Registry, one of the first four new gTLDs to go live, opting for the 60-day Sunrise, that means early bird pricing is ending sooner than might have been expected.

Rather than direct discounts, the early bird offer instead awards extra “status points” that can be accumulated to secure lower bulk registration prices.

Trademark owners would have to submit quite a lot of trademarks, or use an agent that is passing the discounts on to its customers, in order to qualify for the lower prices.

Search all new gTLD collision block lists

Kevin Murphy, October 31, 2013, Domain Services

DI PRO subscribers can now see which strings appear most often in new gTLD registries’ block-lists and search for strings — such as trademarks or premium strings — that interest them.

We’ve just launched the New gTLD Collisions Database.

Currently, it indexes all 14,493 unique strings that ICANN has told the first 13 new gTLD registries to block — due to the risk of collisions with internal networks — when they launch.

By default the strings are ranked by how many gTLDs have been told to block them.

You’ll see immediately that “www” is currently blocked in all 13 registries, suggesting that it’s likely to be blocked in the vast majority of new gTLDs.

Users can also search for a string in order to see how many, and which, new gTLDs are going to have to block it.

We’re hoping that the service will prove useful to trademark owners that want to see which “freebie” blocked strings they stand to benefit from, and in which gTLDs.

For example, we can already see that 10 meaningful strings containing “nike” are to be blocked. For “facebook”, it’s four registries. For “google”, it’s currently three strings across six gTLDs.

The service will also hopefully be useful to registries that want to predict which strings ICANN may tell them to block. We’re seeing a lot of gambling terms showing up in non-gambling TLDs, for example.

Here’s a screenshot of sample output for the search “cars”.

DI PRO

As ICANN publishes lists for more gTLDs, the database will grow and become more useful and time-saving.

Comments, suggestions and bug reports as always to kevin@domainincite.com