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Donuts Launches Trademark Protection Service Across All Its gTLDs

Donuts logoDonuts have launched a service to protect trademarks in new gTLDs. The service is being touted as a cost-effective means of protecting trademarks “at a fraction of the cost of ‘defensive’ domain name registrations.”

The service is called Domains Protected Marks List (DPML) and works by “‘blocking’ trademark-related terms from registration at the second level” in all Donuts operated TLDs “for an initial subscription of a minimum five and maximum ten-year term. Subscriptions can be renewed thereafter for one to ten-year terms.”

Donuts applied for 307 gTLDs, although the final number it will operate is not yet certain, but Domain Incite reports it has “currently has 28 registry agreements with ICANN and 272 applications remaining in various stages of evaluation.” And it has been reported the service will cost $600 per year for each trademark string across all Donuts-operated gTLDs. Meaning that if all applications go through, it would cost $2 per trademark string.

For more information, see the news release below:

Donuts Launches Domains Protected Marks List [news release]
Donuts Inc., a registry for new generic top-level domain names (gTLDs), such as .BUSINESS, .EMAIL and .SERVICES, has launched the Domains Protected Marks List (DPML), a groundbreaking mechanism allowing trademark holders to protect terms in all Donuts-managed gTLDs at a fraction of the cost of “defensive” domain name registrations.

The service is now live and available for subscription through participating domain name registrars accredited by ICANN.

DPML works by “blocking” trademark-related terms from registration at the second level (the characters before the dot).  A DPML term is blocked from registration in all Donuts TLDs for an initial subscription of a minimum five and maximum ten-year term. Subscriptions can be renewed thereafter for one to ten-year terms.

“For the more than eight years spent developing the new gTLD program, trademark rights protection has been critical to advancement of gTLD expansion,” said Donuts COO and co-founder Richard Tindal.  “Marks holders are concerned about potential abuse of their brand names. DPML and the other mechanisms we’ve elected to provide ensure brands are even more extensively protected now than they ever have been, and at low cost.”

DPML Features and Requirements
A trademark holder must first register a mark with the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH), ICANN’s centralized trademark database.  The mark must be registered according to the “use” standard.
Brand owners may then submit an exact match of a mark, or a term that contains an exact match, to DPML.  Once verified with a validated TMCH entry, that term can be blocked in Donuts gTLDs.
A domain name blocked by DPML is not functional, meaning it may not be used for a website URL, e-mail address or other domain name-related functions.
Retail pricing for DPML subscriptions is at the discretion of the registrar.
Certain restrictions apply to premium names, three-character names, and other various applications of the service.

Brand specialists welcome DPML Domain name registrars that largely serve brand and trademark-focused clients have applauded the Donuts system as a welcome advancement.

“Companies have legitimate concerns about protecting their brands in the new gTLD environment and have been asking for this type of protection,” said Elisa Cooper, Director of Product Marketing at MarkMonitor, part of Thomson Reuters.  “The Donuts DPML service provides a cost-effective alternative to defensively registering domains and we feel this is an important option for our clients.”

DPML is keenly anticipated by European registrars as well.  “This is a service of real value to our clients,” said Markus Eggensperger, a founder of united-domains AG of Germany.  “Donuts has carefully taken into account brand protection needs and provided a thoughtful and effective service to brand owners.”

Donuts gTLD schedule According to ICANN’s schedule for evaluation and delegation of new gTLDs, Donuts expects its first gTLDs to become available later this year.  Because DPML subscriptions don’t block domain registrations made prior to that subscription, brand owners should consider subscribing prior to the launch of the first Donuts gTLD.

About Donuts Inc. Donuts is a domain name registry that is widening competition and choice in Internet identities through hundreds of new top-level domain name choices, securely operated in multiple languages and character sets.  Donuts is headquartered in Bellevue, Wash., with offices in Southern California, Washington, D.C. and London.  For more information, please visit