Donuts has delayed the price increases coming to its trademark-blocking service and extended availability of the “plus” version for three more months.
Domain Protected Marks List Plus, which lets companies block brands and variations such as typos and brand+keywords across Donuts stable of 200ish TLDs, will now be available until March 31.
The price hike for vanilla DPML, which does not include the variant-blocking, has also been delayed until the end of January, the registry said.
Both deadlines were previously December 31.
DPML Plus, which grants 10-year blocks on one trademark and three variants in every Donuts TLD, has a recommended retail price of $9,999.
Retail prices for the plain DPML are reportedly going up from $2,500 per string to $4,400 for a five-year block at one registrar when the price rise kicks in. That’s a 76% increase.
Donuts has announced an expansion of its domain-blocking service that will enable brand owners to cheaply (kinda) block misspellings of their trademarks.
Brand owners whose trademarks match “premium” generic strings will also be able to take matching domains out of circulation using the registry’s new DPML Plus service.
DPML, for Domain Protected Marks List, is Donuts’ way of giving trademark owners a way to bulk-block their marks across Donuts’ entire stable of gTLDs, which currently stands at 197 strings.
With typical sunrise period prices at $200+, registering a single string across almost 200 gTLDs during sunrise could near a $40,000 outlay. In general availability, it would often be about a tenth of that price.
But the original DPML, with a roughly $3,000 retail price for a five-year block, reduced the cost to protect a single string to about $3 per domain per year.
Now, with DPML Plus, Donuts is offering a premium service that adds the ability to block typos and premium names.
Typos and substring-based blocking were near the top of the intellectual property community’s wish-list when the new gTLD program was being developed, but those features were never incorporated into ICANN rights protection mechanisms.
But for $9,999 (suggested retail price), DPML Plus buyers get a 10-year block on the string that matches their trademark and three extra strings that are either typos of the trademark or contain the trademark as a substring, Donuts said.
So Google would for example be able to block android.examples, anrdoid.examples, androidphone.examples and googleandroidphone.examples using a single DPML Plus subscription.
Basically, they get to block up to 788 domains at $9,999 over 10 years, which works out to about $1.26 per domain per year.
It looks nice and cheap on that basis, but companies wishing to block dozens of base trademarks would be looking at six or seven-figure up-front payments.
DPML Plus also lifts the ban on blocking “premium” domains.
Under the old DPML, customers could not block a domain if Donuts had flagged it with a premium price, but under DPML Plus they can.
This opens the door to brand owners who have valuable trademarks on generic dictionary words to get them blocked across the whole Donuts portfolio.
A Donuts spokesperson said the company reserves the right to reject such strings if it suspects gaming.
Another benefit of the DPML Plus is the ability to prevent other companies with identical trademarks later unblocking and snatching blocked domains for themselves.
Currently, third parties with matching brands can “override” DPML blocks, but that feature is turned off for DPML Plus subscribers. They get exclusivity for the life of the block.
Donuts said the Plus offer will only be available to buy between October 1 and December 31.
As an added carrot, from January 1 the price of its vanilla DPML service is going to go up by an amount the company currently does not want to disclose.
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.
IBM has won the first Uniform Rapid Suspension case to be filed against a new gTLD domain name.
National Arbitration Forum panelist Darryl Wilson handed down the perfunctory decision February 12, just seven days after IBM complained about ibm.ventures and ibm.guru.
Both domains have now been suspended, redirecting to a placeholder web site which states:
This Site is Suspended
The Domain Name you’ve entered is not available. It has been taken down as a result of dispute resolution proceedings pursuant to the Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS) Procedure and Rules.
For more information relating to the URS, please visit: http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/applicants/urs
It was a slam dunk case, as you might imagine — the URS is designed to handle slam-dunk cases.
The registrant, who we estimate spent $2,500 on the two names, did not do himself any favors by redirecting both names to IBM’s .com site.
As we and Wilson both noted, this showed that he’d registered the names with IBM in mind.
IBM’s mark is included in the Trademark Clearinghouse, so the registrant will have been given a warning at the point of registration that he may be about to infringe someone’s IP rights.
Since the names were registered IBM, we’re told, has purchased a Domain Protected Marks List block from the registry, Donuts, which will prevent the names being re-registered when they expire.
A newish UK company managed by some old internet policy hands has been appointed by Donuts to handle disputes arising from its Sunrise and Domain Protected Marks List policies.
Oxford-based Synetergy, which says it worked with Interconnect Comunications on new gTLD evaluations, is managed by Emily Taylor (formerly of Nominet) and Tony Holmes (formerly of BT).
The company will handle Donuts’ Sunrise and DPML Dispute Resolution Policy, which ICANN published (pdf) today.
The policy comes into play whenever somebody suspects that a Sunrise registration or DPML block in a Donuts gTLD was made based on a bogus trademark submission.
The price of filing a complaint under the process is £250 for up to five names registered to the same registrant.
Taylor said that IP experts from Sipara will handle the substantive evaluations, with Synetergy administering the process.
United TLD, the Demand Media/Rightside new gTLD applicant subsidiary, is also using Synetergy for its dispute resolution services, Taylor said.