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  • NgTLD Update: TLD Launches Keep A Steady Pace, & ICANN Allows One- & Two-Letter DomainsWed, 10/29/2014 - 18:56

    Highlights

    Following a recent decision of the ICANN Board of Directors, new gTLD registries will soon be able to release all two-character domains, which were initially reserved due to the potential for confusion with two-letter country code domains (ccTLDs), e.g., .US). This is good news for dot-brand applicants that may want to run “regional” domains such as uk.brand.

    The French registry AFNIC has announced that .FR domains with one- and two-characters will soon be allowed. The Sunrise runs from December 8–February 9, 2015 for French and European Community trademarks, or international trademarks designating France registered before July 9, 2012. Rights holders also include companies formed before July 9, 2012. There will be a Landrush phase from February 16–March 16th and General Availability will begin March 17, 2015.

    The Portuguese registry DNS.PT will introduce two-character .PT domains beginning November 3, 2014. At that time a list of two-character domains (available at https://www.dns.pt/en/regras-2-carateres#Annex – paragraph 1) will be released for registration on a first-come, first-served basis. A small number of premium domains (listed in paragraph 2 of the Annex) will be auctioned at sedo.com between December 4–11, 2014.

    This week we see the launch of:

    • .HOW and .WHOSWHO
    • .an IDN TLD using theChinese characters “I love you.”
    • Two new Rightside Registry Sunrises for .DENTIST and .REHAB, which may be of interest for professionals across diverse industries, including addiction and refurbishment, physical rehabilitation for athletes and the injured, as well as the financial rehabilitation of an individual’s credit rating. Note that if you have registered a Rightside DPML (Domain Protected Marks List) block you are already covered here, and no one else can register your mark.
    • One new Donuts Sunrise for .WORLD. Note that if you have registered a Donuts DPML block you are already covered here, and no one else can register your mark.


    New gTLDs Launched/Announced

    Zodiac Registry – .我爱你 (.xn--6qq986b3xl – Chinese for “I love you”)

    Registry operator Zodiac has announced the launch schedule for its next new gTLD, .我爱你(.xn--6qq986b3xl – Chinese for “I love you”), as follows:

    New gTLD Sunrise Sunrise Type Landrush General Availability
    .我爱你 (Chinese for “I love you”) 06-Nov-14 06-Dec-14 Start Date Sunrise (first-come, first-served) TBC 08-Dec-14

     

    During the Sunrise Phase, trademark rights holders may register their domain names on a first-come, first-served basis, provided that the term applied for is in the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH). Privacy or proxy services may not be used in connection with applications submitted during the Sunrise Phase.

    Domains will be available to all under General Availability on a first-come, first-served basis in Chinese and ASCII characters.

    Zodiac Registry has just postponed launch of its other TLD, .(.xn--3bst00m – Chinese for “conglomerate/group”). We will update you when new dates are available.

    .HOW

    Registry operator Charleston Road Registry Inc. (Google) has announced the next of its new gTLDs to launch into Sunrise will be .HOW, details below. This TLD might be of interest to providers of instructional or learning-based content on the web, such as those focused on teaching (e.g., music teachers, tutors, yoga studios, martial arts studios, etc.); publishers and authors interested in providing instructional information; and businesses with an interest in expanding instructional content for their customers and businesses interested in short redirects or URL-shorteners for marketing efforts directing customers to instructional content.

    During the Sunrise Phase, trademark rights holders may register their domain names provided that the term applied for is in the TMCH. Multiple applications for the same domain will result in an auction. Domains are available to all under the Landrush Phase with multiple applications for the same domain also resulting in an auction. Domains will be available to all on a first-come, first-served basis under General Availability. Domains may be registered for a period of from 1–10 years and proxy services are permitted. There will be some premium domains.

    .WHOSWHO

    Who’s Who Registry has announced the launch schedule for its new gTLD .WHOSWHO, which might be of interest for personal branding pages, communities, and directories, as follows:  During the Sunrise Phase, trademark rights holders may register their domain names on a first-come, first-served basis, provided that the term applied for is in the TMCH. Applications will also be accepted for domain names appearing on the ICANN SLD block list, however, all such registered domains will not resolve on the Internet until such time ICANN removes such prohibitions. Domains will be available to all under General Availability on a first-come, first-served basis. IDNs will be available in German, Portuguese, Spanish, and simplified and traditional Chinese characters.

    .VEGAS Premium Domains

    Registry operator Dot Vegas, Inc. has begun selling its .VEGAS premium domains at a “buy it now” price (registry direct). The premium price for such domains applies only to the first year of registration and in subsequent years (whether renewal or multi-year registration) will be charged at a lower price.

    United TLD (Rightside Registry) – .DENTIST and .REHAB

    United TLD Holdco, Ltd has announced the launch schedule for the next of its new gTLDs, .DENTIST and .REHAB, as follows:

    Sunrise Sunrise Type Early Access Program General Availability
    14-Oct-14 13-Dec-14 End Date Sunrise (not first-come, first-served) 17-Dec-14 24-Dec-14 24-Dec-14

     

    During the Sunrise Phase, trademark rights holders may register their domain names provided that the term applied for is in the TMCH, with multiple applications for the same domain resulting in an auction. The initial term of registration for a domain is one year. Please note that there will not be a Landrush Phase for these TLDs, but an Early Access Program with domains available to all followed by General Availability wherein domains will also be available to register on a first-come, first-served basis. During EAP and General Availability, domains may be registered for 1–10 years. IDNs are available in English, Spanish and French.

    Regulated and Highly-Regulated TLDs

    Please note that United TLD classifies .REHAB as a “Regulated” TLD and .DENTIST as a “Highly-Regulated” TLD.

    Safeguards for Regulated TLDs:Registrants are required to comply with all applicable laws, including those that relate to privacy, data collection, consumer protection (including in relation to misleading and deceptive conduct), fair lending, debt collection, organic farming, disclosure of data, and financial disclosures. Additionally, if a Registrant collects and maintains sensitive health and financial data, they must implement reasonable and appropriate security measures commensurate with the offering of those services, as defined by applicable law.

    Safeguards for Highly Regulated TLDs:Registrants must provide administrative contact information, which must be kept up-to-date, for the notification of complaints or reports of registration abuse, as well as the contact details of the relevant regulatory, or industry self-regulatory, bodies in their main place of business. Additionally, Registrants must possess any necessary authorizations, charters, licenses, and/or other related credentials for participation in the sector associated with this Highly Regulated TLD and report any material changes to the Registrant’s authorizations, charters, licenses, and/or other related credentials for participation in the sector associated with the Highly Regulated TLD. 

    New Donuts Sunrise – .WORLD

    Registry operator Donuts has announced the next of its TLDs to launch into Sunrise will be .WORLD, as follows:  IDNs are available in the following scripts:

    • German
    • Chinese
    • French
    • Spanish

    The full launch schedule for Donuts’ new gTLDs can be found at: http://www.donuts.co/tlds.

    .LUXURY – Increase to Sunrise Renewal Fee

    Registry operator Luxury Partners LLC has announced it is set to increase the cost of the renewal fee for all .LUXURY domains registered under the Sunrise period. If you wish to renew your existing .LUXURY domains at the current (lower) price, you will be able to do so for periods of from 1–10 years prior to April 2, 2015. 


    New gTLDs Currently Running

    Registry operator OVH SAS’ new gTLD .OVH, has been featuring in the news this week, with an article at domainnews.com.

    The TLD, which launched into General Availability on 2 October, has shown surprising success with more than 53,000 new domains registered following a waiver of the first year’s registration fee for the first 50,000 registrants, with a reduction of the first year’s registration fee for the next 50,000 registrants. This places .OVH in the top six new gTLD registries by volume worldwide (source: ntldstats.com).

    The new gTLD started, according to the French telecoms company’s website, with an April Fools’ Day prank in 2009, when Octave Klaba (OVH founder and CEO) announced the creation of the .OVH extension. The company received over 22,000 requests to register .OVH domains within a few hours.

    There is a requirement for .OVH registrants to have an OVH nic-handle (Customer ID) at the time of the registration and renewal.

    Meanwhile, geoTLD .NYC has also seen a strong start to its General Availability phase, with 26,858 domains registered after the first 24 hours.

    .XYZ remains in first position of the top new gTLDs by volume with 673,000 domains registered to date.

    The total number of new gTLDs registered now stands at 3,000,000 (Source: http://ntldstats.com). The full articles can be found at:

    http://www.domainnews.com/ovh-goes-bang-50-000-registrations.html

    http://www.domainnews.com/nyc-26-853-registrations-on-day-one-of-general-availability.html


     Closing Soon

    New gTLD Launch Phase Closing
    CYMRU Sunrise 31-Oct-14
    WALES Sunrise 31-Oct-14
    PHYSIO Sunrise/Limited 1 31-Oct-14
    CYMRU Sunrise 1-Nov-14
    WALES Sunrise 1-Nov-14
    PHYSIO Sunrise 1-Nov-14
    RESTAURANT Sunrise 3-Nov-14
    SARL Sunrise 3-Nov-14
    GIFTS Sunrise 3-Nov-14
    VLAANDEREN Governments & companies 3-Nov-14
    BRUSSELS Governments & companies 3-Nov-14
    CAPETOWN Landrush 3-Nov-14
    DURBAN Landrush 3-Nov-14
    JOBURG Landrush 3-Nov-14
    CLICK Sunrise 3-Nov-14
    DIET Sunrise 3-Nov-14
    HELP Sunrise 3-Nov-14
    HOSTING Sunrise 8-Nov-14
    PROPERTY Sunrise 9-Nov-14
    BZH Sunrise 11-Nov-14
    ENGINEER Sunrise 11-Nov-14
    MELBOURNE Landrush 15-Nov-14
    PARIS Sunrise/Landrush 17-Nov-14
    QUEBEC Sunrise/Landrush 18-Nov-14
    TOP Sunrise 18-Nov-14
    موقع xn--4gbrim – Arabic for “site” Sunrise 18-Nov-14
    москва (xn--80adxhks) “Moscow/ moskva” Landrush 18-Nov-14
    MOSCOW Landrush 19-Nov-14
    GAL Sunrise/Landrush 25-Nov-14
    EUS Sunrise/Landrush 28-Nov-14
    GENT Limited Registration 29-Nov-14
    TATAR Limited Registration 29-Nov-14
    LTDA Sunrise 29-Nov-14
    商标 (xn--czr694b) – Chinese for “trademark” Landrush 29-Nov-14
    IMMO Sunrise 29-Nov-14
    PIZZA Sunrise 29-Nov-14
    BUSINESS Sunrise 29-Nov-14
    NETWORK Sunrise 31-Oct-14
    AUCTION Sunrise 31-Oct-14
    SOFTWARE Sunrise 31-Oct-14

     


     New gTLDs Delegated

    Seventeen new gTLDs from ICANN’s New gTLD Program have recently been delegated, taking the total to 417:

    Delegated String Registry
    27-Sep-14 vermögensberatung (xn--vermgensberatung-pwb) – German for “financial advice” Deutsche Vermögensberatung Aktiengesellschaft DVAG
    27-Sep-14 vermögensberater (xn--vermgensberater-ctb) – German for “financial advisor” Deutsche Vermögensberatung Aktiengesellschaft DVAG
    27-Sep-14 рус (xn--p1acf) – Russian for “Russian” Rusnames Limited
    27-Sep-14 TUI TUI AG
    27-Sep-14 DVAG Deutsche Vermögensberatung Aktiengesellschaft DVAG
    27-Sep-14 POHL Deutsche Vermögensberatung Aktiengesellschaft DVAG
    1-Oct-14 ALLFINANZ Allfinanz Deutsche Vermögensberatung Aktiengesellschaft
    1-Oct-14 FORSALE United TLD Holdco, LLC
    4-Oct-14 ALSACE REGION D ALSACE
    15-Oct-14 BAND United TLD Holdco Ltd.
    15-Oct-14 YOGA Top Level Domain Holdings Limited
    15-Oct-14 CRS Federated Co-operatives Limited
    15-Oct-14 ABOGADO Top Level Domain Holdings Limited
    15-Oct-14 RIP United TLD Holdco Ltd.
    15-Oct-14 WEDDING Top Level Domain Holdings Limited
    15-Oct-14 POKER Afilias Domains No. 5 Limited
    23-Oct-14 TAIPEI Taipei City Government

    The complete list of new gTLDs delegated to date is available at: http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/program-status/delegated-strings.


     New gTLDs Signed

    The following new gTLD Registry operators have recently entered into a Registry Agreement with ICANN, under which they will operate their new gTLDs:

    New gTLD Registry Operator Date Contract Signed with ICANN
    .COACH Koko Island, LLC 09-Oct-14
    .CRICKET dot Cricket Limited 09-Oct-14
    .FLOWERS Uniregistry, Corp. 09-Oct-14
    .MARRIOTT Marriott Worldwide Corporation 09-Oct-14
    .SANOFI Sanofi 09-Oct-14
    .STC Saudi Telecom Company 09-Oct-14
    .STCGROUP Saudi Telecom Company 09-Oct-14
    .AFL Australian Football League 02-Oct-14
    .BBVA BANCO BILBAO VIZCAYA ARGENTARIA, S.A. 02-Oct-14
    .ITAU Itau Unibanco Holding S.A. 02-Oct-14
    .LIAISON Liaison Technologies, Incorporated 02-Oct-14
    .MAIF Mutuelle Assurance Instituteur France (MAIF) 02-Oct-14

    So far, a total of 540 Registry Agreements have been signed. The full list of Registry Agreements can be viewed at: http://www.icann.org/en/about/agreements/registries.


    Most Popular New gTLDs

    Finally, to help you assess general levels of interest in the new gTLDs, we are including the latest zone file information (from ntldstats.com), which shows how the top registries are performing. Note that .XYZ, .BERLIN, and .OVH gave away significant numbers of names.

    10 28 pie chart

    As always, feel free to contact us with any questions at CLS-CORSEARCHDOMAINS@wolterskluwer.com.

     

  • The Rise of “Brand Ebola”Tue, 10/28/2014 - 17:33

    As the Ebola virus continues to dominate newscasts, marketing efforts to capitalize on the deadly virus through sales of protective equipment, fraudulent cures, and random Ebola-branded products are on the rise.

    Brandchannel points out the plethora of Ebola-named products, from sexy Ebola Nurse costumes for Halloween to a dietary supplement called Ebola-C. In China, there’s a hand sanitizing spray from SinoTistar that promises to prevent Ebola. The big e-commerce sites like eBay and Etsy are overflowing with items like “Got Ebola?” t-shirts, “fashionable” Ebola protective masks, even an “Ebola awareness sock monkey,” decked out in protective gear. Meanwhile, in New Jersey, a man was arrested for selling Ebola-branded heroin.

    In the world of domain names, Ebola.com recently sold for $50,000 to a medicinal marijuana company, while others like EbolaMonitoring.com and EbolaforDummies.com can be yours for slightly less than that. We found a few recent U.S. trademark filings for Ebola-related products, including Ebola-Away and Ebolaway for antibacterial and antiviral sprays and wipes, and one for Ebolaman covering everything from coffee mugs to sporting equipment.

    The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Food and Drug Administration are actively monitoring for fraudulent Ebola “cure” claims. So far, they’ve sent warning letters out to three companies known to be making false claims. Richard Cleland, assistant director for the Division of Advertising Practices at the FTC told the National Journal: “The concern is that if the public anxiety over Ebola continues to grow, we’re going to see more and more.”

    Tim Calkins, professor of marketing at the Kellogg School of Management told Digiday that the Ebola brand’s high awareness and “fairly simple story” make it “the ice bucket challenge, but bad,” referring to the recent ALS campaign that went viral.

    What Ebola-related merchandise have you seen in your part of the world?

  • Lucasfilm Opposes Brewery’s “Strikes Bock” BeerMon, 10/27/2014 - 20:47

    Would you think that Empire Strikes Bock beer is an official Star Wars product? Disney’s Lucasfilm, in a notice of opposition filed with the USPTO, thinks it will likely cause confusion and has demanded that Empire Brewing Company stop using the name.

    In addition to the Star Wars-inspired name, the Syracuse-NY based brewery used the phrase, “May the hops be with you” on its website, along with a scrolling font similar to the Star Wars’ movies signature opening crawl. The brewery’s been making the lager for seven years and claims that the beer’s name is simply “Strikes Bock” with “Empire” referring to the brewery’s name. “I don’t see why they would have any objection. It’s not like we’re using images of Star Wars on the bottle or on our Web site,” brewery manager Kevin Griffin told The New York Post.

    A brewery spokesperson told Gothamist: “We at Empire Brewing are huge Star War fans and we hope that Lucasfilm will come to recognize ’Strikes Bock’ as parody, the sincerest form of flattery. Empire Brewing Company remains committed to running our business ethically and strives for excellence.”

    Are there other Star Wars-themed beers on the market? The answer is: Yes, several. Geek writes that Sierra Nevada tried in the past to market Empire Strikes Black stout and Draft Magazine published a list of Star Wars-related beers that includes New England Imperial Storm Trooper Stout and Wiens Millennium Falconer’s IPL. Our favorite that we found is Java the Stout from Jackie O’s Brewery in Athens, Ohio.

    Speaking of alcoholic beverages, Star Wars creator George Lucas happens to own Skywalker Vineyards. The notice of opposition states that Lucasfilm and its licensees have used the Skywalker mark in connection with wines produced by the vineyard for more than 20 years. The vineyard’s website says that Lucas got the inspiration to go into the wine business from fellow filmmaker (and winemaker) Francis Ford Coppola.

    Disney relaunched StarWars.com this past summer in anticipation of the December 2015 release of the film ‘Star Wars: Episode VII.’ Get ready for a slew of new Stars Wars-branded products, and in the meantime check out “The Most Awesome Star Wars Products of All Time,” which will no doubt need updating next year.