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Verisign lays out ‘buy once’ IDN gTLD plans

Kevin Murphy, July 12, 2013, 14:15:30 (UTC), Domain Registries

Verisign has finally clarified how it proposes to let existing registrants of internationalized domain names grab the matching domains in its 12 forthcoming IDN gTLDs.
The company has applied for transliterations of .com in nine non-Latin scripts and .net in three, but its applications were light on details about existing registrants’ rights.
But today Verisign senior vice president Pat Kane outlined precisely how name allocations will be handled.
At first glance it sounds like good news for existing IDN registrants, particularly domainers whose investments in IDN .com and .net domains are about to become much more valuable.
If you already own a .com domain that is an IDN at the second level, you will have exclusive rights to that IDN string in all other .com transliterations, but not .net transliterations.
That works the other way around too: if you own the IDN .net domain, you get the matching second level in all of Verisign’s .net transliterations.
Owning the Chinese word for “beer” in Latin .com would not give you rights to the Thai word for “beer” in the Thai transliteration of .com, but you could buy the Chinese equivalent.
The rules seem to apply to future registrations too.
You could register the Hebrew for “beer” in the Hebrew transliteration of .com and you would also get the exclusive right to that Hebrew string in Latin .com.
There would be no obligation, and you wouldn’t lose your right to register matching domains if you chose not to immediately exercise it, Kane said. He wrote:

Two primary objectives in our strategy to implement new IDN gTLDs are, where feasible, to avoid costs to consumers and businesses from purely defensive registrations in these new TLDs, as well as to avoid end-user confusion.

It all sounds pretty fair to me, based on Kane’s blog post.
There’s a hint that trademark rights protection mechanisms may complicate matters, which has apparently been discussed in a letter to ICANN, but if it’s been published anywhere I’ve been unable to find a copy.

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Comments (9)

  1. JS says:

    thanks for reporting on this Kevin

  2. JS says:

    I wish the announcement was made in languages other than english though.

  3. Steve says:

    Great confirmation of existing owners rights on generic idn’s!!!
    “There would be no obligation, and you wouldn’t lose your right to register matching domains if you chose not to immediately exercise it, Kane said. ”
    That’s the confirmation everyone was waiting for. Not having to activate the idn.idn right away will save many owners $$$ but keep the option open down the road.
    Great day for owners, imho.

  4. Lee says:

    Great find Kevin. In the blog Pat Kane says:
    “Recently, Verisign announced details about our IDN.IDN implementation plans.”
    So he is saying the announcement was not made in the blog, but somewhere else, sometime earlier.
    I would love to know where and when the actual announcement was made, for the sake of “history” if nothing else as this is the announcement IDN owners have been waiting many years for.
    Where is this mysterious announcment we all missed? 🙂

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      I looked, but I couldn’t find it.
      He may have been referring to the communication with ICANN, which I also couldn’t find.

  5. Lee says:

    Yes strange isn’t it … an announcement that doesn’t appear to exist.
    I presume it happened in a discussion with ICANN recently, but perhaps a closed door discussion about contract negotiations for the IDN gTLDs.
    Be great if someone could clear this up by asking Pat, I think he should know 🙂

  6. Lee says:

    Ah, politics, that explains most anomalies ….
    If its just VeriSign / ICANN politics, that’s the point at which I say “I really don’t care. Just happy the policy is in the public arena finally and every IDN owner knows where they stand”.

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