How the world’s biggest brands use new gTLDs

Kevin Murphy & Edward Conlon
April 18, 2012
Analysis

DomainIncite PRO is excited to reveal the results of the domain name industry’s first in-depth study into how the world’s biggest brands use new generic top-level domains.

In March and April 2012, we surveyed the domain name ownership and usage patterns of the world’s 100 most-valuable brands — representing over $1.2 trillion in brand value, according to Interbrand — in six gTLDs introduced since 2001.

As well as confirming the long-held belief that brand owners see little value in defensive registrations — many not even choosing to benefit from residual traffic — the survey also revealed which brands are more likely to develop their sites, which are most vulnerable to cybersquatting, and which appear to care the least about enforcing their brands.

We also examined how “cybersquatters” use the domain names they register, with some surprising results. Privacy/proxy registration is not nearly as prevalent as many believe, our study found, and a significant portion of registrants have made no effort to monetize the domains they own that match famous brand names.

This extensive, fully illustrated report includes:

  • A comparison of defensive registration trends across 100 brands in six new gTLDs. How many domains are owned by the respective brands and how many are owned by third parties? How many are reserved by the registry and how many are still available for registration?
  • A breakdown of usage trends by gTLD in .asia, .biz, .info, .jobs, .mobi and .pro. When brand owners register domains in new gTLDs, how likely are they to develop content on those domains, and what can new gTLD registries do to encourage this desirable behavior?
  • An analysis of cybersquatting behavior in over 100 domain names registered to entities other than the brand owner. How much do brand owners have to worry about their brands being impaired by damaging behavior such as redirection to competing web sites or adult material?
  • Full survey results. DI PRO subscribers have full access to the survey results, which include details of which brand-domains belong to third parties, which exhibit potentially damaging behavior, and which are currently available for registration.

Click here for the full report or learn how to subscribe instantly.

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The fight for .eco heads to court

Kevin Murphy
April 9, 2012
Analysis

The battle for control of the proposed .eco generic top-level domain has started early, with three rival applicants now locked in trademark infringement litigation in the US.

Planet.eco, easily the quietest of the three known .eco applicants, has sued the other two — DotEco and Big Room — for trademark infringement and cybersquatting, seeking millions of dollars in damages.

The Connecticut-based company has also demanded an injunction preventing DotEco and Big Room from applying to ICANN for the .eco gTLD.

This article provides a comprehensive background to the lawsuit, examines the legitimacy of the trademarks in question and Planet.eco’s credibility, and provides an analysis of the likelihood that the litigation will be successful.

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ICANN 43 Briefing – Defensive Applications for new gTLDs

Edward Conlon
March 28, 2012
Analysis

The strength of trademark protection mechanisms in the new gTLD space is always a hot topic at ICANN meetings and Costa Rica was no exception.

At a March 15 panel discussion ostensibly convened to discuss rights protection at the top level, discussions inevitably turned to second-level protections such as the rejected Globally Protected Marks List (GPML) idea instead.

As the application period drew closer, and then opened on January 12 2012, brand owners raised concerns about filing defensive applications to protect their marks. These worries, amplified by elements within the US government, prompted ICANN to open a public comment period to address the “perceived” need to apply defensively.

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ICANN 43 Briefing – New gTLD Application Batching

Kevin Murphy
March 28, 2012
Analysis

ICANN 43 hosted the first occasion at which ICANN staff lifted the veil on their proposals for new gTLD application batching.

The method proposed appears to highly favor applicants already skilled in “domaining” techniques such as drop-catching, and was roundly derided by most attendees.

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ICANN 43: Six hot topics for new gTLD applicants in Costa Rica

Kevin Murphy
March 11, 2012
Analysis

Hundreds of stakeholders are gathering in San Jose, Costa Rica today for the first official day of ICANN’s 43rd public meeting.
While the news that the US government has deferred the renewal of ICANN’s IANA contract for another six months has set the most tongues wagging so far, there’s a lot more going on.

In this in-depth DomainIncite PRO ICANN 43 preview, we take a look at:

  • Why many attendees think the shock IANA news is a personal slight against ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom.
  • How protecting the Olympic and Red Cross trademarks could lead to the new gTLD application window being extended.
  • Why the Governmental Advisory Committee is pushing for greater powers to reject new gTLD applications.
  • Which companies have applied for the potentially lucrative Trademark Clearinghouse contract (and which one is our favorite to win), and why unanswered questions have the IP community worried.
  • What criteria new gTLDs will be judged against after they launch.
  • Why critical talks between ICANN and domain name registrars could lead to the retail price of domain names doubling, and why that probably won’t happen any time soon.

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