Tag Archives: top level domains

Short, Memorable Domains Will Assist Consumers Finds Melbourne IT DBS

Short, memorable domain names are advantageous for internet consumers finding the website they want, according to market research conducted on behalf of Melbourne IT Digital Brand Services (Melbourne IT DBS) in the US and UK.The research, that will undoubtedly be used to encourage businesses to sign on for their very own generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) found that a minority of consumers, albeit a sizeable minority, actually typed in the domain name they desired.In the UK, a quarter (25%) of respondents said they navigated directly to a company website by remembering an advertised web address. When most consumers go online to make their purchases, the research found that 60 per cent use search engines such as Google to try to find the products they have either seen or heard advertised.In the US, when respondents were asked how they usually navigate to the websites of products or companies advertised on TV, radio or in print, over one third (35%) of the respondents type the advertiser’s brand or product name into a search engine and navigate from there while again, around one quarter (26%) begin by typing the web address into a search engine. When trying to find the official site of a product or service they had seen or heard advertised, two thirds (67%) of consumers admitted to ending up on a completely different website than the official site they had intended to visit, via a search engine.”Big consumer brands spend millions on advertising, sponsorships and their in-store retail presence. But with consumers using the web to actually make their purchase, and the high chance of those consumers getting sidetracked in doing so, that offline investment loses its value,” Melbourne IT DBS’ European Sales Director, Stuart Durham, said.Jonathan Freeman, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Goldsmiths University of London, has been studying online consumer behaviour for more than a decade. “The current domain name system is not as simple as it could be,” Freeman said. “Brand based domain names provide a much more direct index and, as a result, they should be much easier for consumers to remember. I imagine the concept should be very attractive to brand owners who want consumers to use their web address. Using the new approach will make direct access to websites feel as intuitive and natural as typing the company or product name into a search engine, but with the benefit that consumers will know exactly where they will get to.”Consumers had concerns around trust when shopping online. In the British research, 51 one per cent of consumers online felt it was difficult to differentiate between websites selling genuine goods and those who sold fake or counterfeit items, and an overwhelming 83% agreed that online brands should take greater action to help consumers tell the difference between websites selling genuine goods from those sites selling counterfeit goods.In the US, differentiating legitimate online brands from websites selling counterfeit or fake goods was also desired by shoppers online with four in five (80%) American respondents thinking online brands should better help consumers tell the difference between websites selling genuine goods from websites selling counterfeit or fake goods.”The rise of counterfeit goods online has the potential to erode trust in the online shopping experience and it’s clear from the results that consumers are looking to brands to make every possible effort to show that their sites and those of their retail partners can be trusted,” Mr Durham said.In a plug for their services to assist applicants with their .BRAND TLD applications and operation, Mr Durham said “securing a ‘.brand’ domain name will deliver brand owners a trustworthy digital anchor for their brand. A .brand has the potential to create significant benefits for marketers, including memorable domains for increased direct navigation by consumers, shorter domains for mobile web users, and an indisputable mark of trust for those consumers looking for reassurance they are buying authentic goods online.”The research of 2,069 UK consumers online, conducted by YouGov while in the US The polling company, Inc. conducted the nationwide online survey of 1,007 American adults.To read more on the UK research, click here while more information on the US research is available here.

ICANN: Protecting Trademark Rights for New gTLDs: ICANN Seeks Service Providers for Trademark Clearinghouse Operation

(Trademark Clearinghouse or “TMCH” Service Providers)

ICANN is issuing today a Request for Information (RFI) [PDF, 243 KB] to identify potential Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) Service Providers. The Trademark Clearinghouse will provide a set of rights protection mechanisms that are part of ICANN”s program to make new top-level domains widely available.

The primary purpose of the TMCH is to function as an information repository, offering authentication and validation services for trademark data. Trademark holders and gTLD registry operators will rely on the TMCH to support rights protection mechanisms for the new gTLD space. The TMCH is designed to be available globally, with capabilities for validating trademark data in multiple scripts and responding to inquiries in multiple languages.

Part of ICANN”s core mission is to preserve the operational security and stability of the Internet while also supporting open competition. With the upcoming launch of the New generic Top-Level Domain (New gTLD) Program, the Internet community will see the introduction of a number of new gTLD namespaces. To ensure that the new gTLD program gave appropriate consideration to trademark protection, ICANN”s Board passed a resolution on 6 March 2009 to form an Implementation Recommendation Team (IRT) to seek enhanced solutions supporting trademark protection. One recommendation was the establishment of a Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH).

Candidates for operating the TMCH are expected to meet the requirements outlined in the RFI, which include, for example, a demonstrated understanding of the issues concerning global intellectual property rights and the Internet, global capability to authenticate and validate trademark information, and experience designing, building, and operating secure transaction processing systems with 24/7/365 availability. ICANN seeks candidates with a proven ability to manage and support processes in multiple languages, in addition to fulfillment of the technical requirements.

RFI activities schedule at a glance:

Request for information issued by ICANN 3 October 2011
Respondents” Q&A – Teleconference On or about 4 November 2011
Written responses due 25 November 2011 – 23:59 UTC
Public announcement of provider engagement 14 Februrary 2012

The deadline for responses is 25 November 2011 at 23:59 UTC. Responses should be submitted to: tm-clearinghouse-rfi@icann.org. Responses received after the deadline will not be considered.


What is the TMCH?

The TMCH serves as an information repository that will accept and maintain data relating to trademark rights, including both registered and unregistered rights, and will support registration processes in ASCII and IDN gTLDs.

What is a TMCH Service Provider?

The functions of data authentication/validation and database administration may be performed by a single service provider or by two separate service providers. Respondent proposals will be accepted for:

  • performance of the data authentication/validation function of the TMCH; or
  • performance of the database administration function of the TMCH; or
  • performance of both the data authentication/validation functions and the database administration functions of the TMCH.

The foremost considerations for selection of the TMCH service provider(s) will be the ability to authenticate, validate, store and disseminate the data at the highest level of technical stability and security without interference with the integrity or timeliness of the gTLD registration process or registry operations.

What are the key functions?

Functions that are critical to the operation of the TMCH include:

  • Trademark Claims and Sunrise Services – Provide transactional services that allow parties such as registries and/or registrars to rapidly obtain information necessary to conduct Sunrise and Trademark Claims services for new gTLDs.
  • Database Operation – Maintain the repository of relevant trademark data while providing services for conducting searches and integrating with TMCH operations.
  • Data Authentication and Validation – Establish and execute standard processes for authentication of trademark rights information, validation of proof-of-use information, and verification of contact information.
  • Customer Service – Answer questions, resolve issues, and provide support for use of TMCH services.
  • Language Support – Conduct TMCH operations in multiple languages.

Who will use the TMCH and when?

With the launch of the new gTLD program, new gTLD operators will be required to offer services that are supported solely by the TMCH for a sunrise period of at least 30 days, and for an initial operating period during the first 60 days of general registration. Beyond that period, registries may optionally continue to use the TMCH trademark claims services but these are not mandated beyond the initial time periods specified for any given new gTLD.

What kind of information is ICANN requesting and who should respond?

Respondents should be parties interested in committing themselves as potential TMCH operators. The RFI covers numerous areas, but respondents should be prepared to discuss the following:

  • How they can scale quickly to meet the demands of a large number of transactions;
  • How they will provide and manage the availability of services to users 24×7, 365 days a year;
  • The capabilities they have to support processes in multiple languages;
  • The capabilities they have to provide global trademark authentication and validation services;
  • Their experience and expertise in trademark protection issues; and
  • Their ability to work with ICANN and the community to refine core business processes and evolve the TMCH operation.


The IRT, consisting of 18 geographically diverse subject matter experts from the intellectual property arena, made several recommendations to enhance trademark protection (see www.icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/irt-final-report-trademark-protection-29may09-en.pdf [PDF, 299 KB]). The original proposal has undergone multiple revision cycles based on ICANN”s public comment process, resulting in the current model. The requirements for the TMCH have been defined at a high level and will be refined through the RFI and subsequent processes.

The overall goals of the TMCH are to:

  • Support rights protection mechanisms in the gTLD program;
  • Operate cost-effective services that do not place undue financial or administrative burdens on trademark holders, registrars, and registries; and
  • Establish an ongoing partnership with stakeholders to evolve the TMCH so that it remains an efficient, value-added service provider for the IP and gTLD communities.

On 22 June 2011, the TMCH was discussed at the ICANN meetings in Singapore, where participants took part in a working session on a straw-man implementation model (singapore41.icann.org/node/24629). Development of the models for mandatory Sunrise and Trademark claims processes will continue while ICANN evaluates responses to this RFI.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:

Afilias Launches International Contest To Explore Innovative Uses Of New TLDs

Afilias logo“Global Innovation Contest for New TLD Ideas” represents first-of-its-kind competition for defining new domain concepts

[news release] Afilias Limited, a leading Internet registry services provider, today (3 October) announced a rapid-fire contest to generate ideas for new top-level domains (new TLDs). As organizations consider whether or not to invest in new TLDs under the forthcoming ICANN New TLD program, they may not consider all the possibilities for new TLDs. The “Afilias Global Innovation Contest for New TLD Ideas” is designed to address that issue.

With this contest, Afilias is looking for unique new TLD ideas, whether that domain is a “dot Brand” (for a company) or a “dot Niche” (for a concept or community) or a “dot City” domain. The goal is to discover ideas for “right of the dot” domains that cannot be done today with any of the existing domains, like .com or .net.

To help participants generate ideas, Afilias has created a special downloadable e-book — The Afilias New TLD Innovation e-book: Ideas to Stimulate Your Imagination — available on the contest website at http://www.afilias.info/newtldcontest.

“Technology visionary Alan Kay once remarked, ”The best way to predict the future is to invent it,” and that is what our contest is helping to do: invent the future,” said Roland LaPlante, CMO and Senior Vice President of Afilias. “We”re excited to see what powerful ideas people have for new TLDs. The right TLD can change the Internet — and the world — as we know it.”

To ensure the largest number of voices are heard through this contest, the only requirements are that ideas must be submitted by participants of 18 years or older, and are submitted in English via the official contest website at www.afilias.info/newtldcontest. But potential winners need to act quickly: the contest opened on October 3, 2011, and closes on Monday, October 17, 2011, at 11:59 p.m. UTC / 7:59 p.m. Eastern.

Participants will be eligible to win a $5,000 first prize, a $3,000 second prize or a $1,500 third prize.

Winners will be selected by a panel of expert judges. The judging panel will include Paul Twomey (Managing Director, Argo P@cific, former ICANN CEO), Matthew Quint (Associate Director, Center on Global Brand Leadership, Columbia Business School), David Rogers (Executive Director, BRITE, Columbia Business School) and Kevin Murphy (Editor, domainincite.com), along with senior executives from Afilias.

Several of these judges will also participate in a special global webinar on new dot Brand TLDs called,”Who Should Invest in a dot Brand? Evaluating the Business Case for a Top-Level Domain Name.” This free webinar, hosted by the Columbia Business School”s Center on Global Brand Leadership and sponsored by Afilias (Diamond Sponsor) and Glowpoint (Silver Sponsor), will be held at 2 p.m. UTC / 10:00 a.m. Eastern on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011.

Afilias” Global Registry and DNS services power 20 million domain registrations across 16 TLDs, including six TLDs operating under ICANN contracts. Afilias” new TLD services include a state-of-the-art EPP registry, a globally diverse and redundant Anycast DNS network, 24×7 call-center and technical support, and links to the global distribution channel. In addition, Afilias provides other premium solutions to augment its registry offerings, including technology to enable mobile phone compatibility for websites and a unique IDN-capable email solution. All Afilias services are DNSSEC and IPv6 ready, and reflect more than 10 years of experience in supporting gTLDs operating under ICANN contracts.

About Afilias
Afilias is a global provider of Internet infrastructure services that connect people to their data. Afilias” reliable, secure, scalable, and globally available technology supports a wide range of applications including Internet domain registry services and Managed DNS. For more information on Afilias” new gTLD services and “Global Innovation Contest for New TLD Ideas,” visit www.afilias.info/newtldcontest.

This Afilias news release was sourced from here.

Open Letter & Petition To ICANN Urging New gTLD Approval in Singapore

An open letter has been drafted urging the ICANN board to approve the new generic Top Level Domain programme at the meeting next week in Singapore. A meeting has been scheduled for Monday 20 June at which approval may be given.
The open letter says the signatories “believe that the Board can make no other principled choice.”
The letter lists a list of issues under three broad areas, these being process and consensus, ICANN and internet governance and benefits and harms. The letter says that if ICANN can answer all questions under the broad areas be answered affirmatively, then ICANN has no other choice than to approve the new gTLD programme.
To read the open letter to ICANN, and add your signature if you wish, go to www.petitions24.com/newtlds.

ICANN – IDN Variant TLD Case Study Update

On April 20, 2011, ICANN announced its approach to move forward with the IDN Variant TLDs Issues Project by publishing the Final Proposal for the Project [PDF, 195 KB] and the Call for Volunteers [PDF, 112 KB]. This project is dedicated to identifying the issues involved in the delegation of IDN Variant TLDs.

Today, we are pleased to announce the formation of six case study teams, comprising a total of 66 experts from 29 countries and territories. In addition, six organizations are in the process of being selected to be local hosts for each of the case studies. A local host organization will provide meeting and other facilities to support the case studies work. A decision and announcement will follow shortly.

Individual members are listed at the end of this announcement and they offer expertise in the following areas: DNS, IDNA, linguistics, security & scalability, policy, registry/registrar operations, and community representatives.

On Saturday, 18 June 2011, all-day project team meetings are being planned in Singapore at which the case study teams will meet together in plenary sessions and in individual breakout working sessions.

Interested members of the community can receive updates and participate in the discussions of this work by subscribing to vip@icann.org mailing list (https://mm.icann.org/mailman/listinfo/vip) or by visiting https://community.icann.org/display/VIP/.

Arabic Case Study

  1. Sarmad Hussain (Coordinator)
  2. Abdulaziz Al-Zoman
  3. Behnam Esfahbod
  4. Fahd A. Batayneh
  5. Huda Sarfraz
  6. Khaled Koubaa
  7. Manal Ismail
  8. Mohamed El-Bashir
  9. Raed Al-Fayez
  10. Siavash Shahshahani
  11. Syed Iftikhar H. Shah

Chinese Case Study

  1. Xiaodong Lee (Coordinator)
  2. Chris Dillon
  3. Hong Xue
  4. James Seng
  5. Jian Zhang
  6. Joe Zhang
  7. Jonathan Shea
  8. Joseph Yee
  9. June Seo
  10. Shianyong Tseng
  11. Wei Wang
  12. Yoshiro Yoneya

Cyrillic Case Study

  1. Alexey Sozonov (Coordinator)
  2. Alexei Mykhaylov
  3. Alexey Ptashniy
  4. Daniel Kalchev
  5. Iliya Bazlyankov
  6. Oksana Prykhodko
  7. Saso Dimitrijoski
  8. Sergey Sharikov
  9. Vladimir Shadrunov

Devanagari Case Study

  1. Dr. Govind (Coordinator)
  2. Amardeep Singh Chawla
  3. Bal Krishna Bal
  4. Basanta shrestha
  5. Bhavin Turakhia
  6. James Galvin
  7. Jitender Kumar
  8. K. B. Narayanan
  9. Kalyan Kale
  10. Mahesh Kulkarni
  11. Manish Dalal
  12. Prabhakar Kshotriya
  13. Pramod Pandey
  14. Raiomond Doctor
  15. Rajiv Kumar
  16. Satyendra Kumar Pandey
  17. Shashi Bharadwaj
  18. Tulika Pandey

Greek Case Study

  1. Vaggelis Segredakis (Coordinator)
  2. Asimina Giannopoulou
  3. Catherine Tsapikidou
  4. Evangelos Melagrakis
  5. Fotia Panayiotou
  6. George Papapavlou
  7. Giannis Papaioannou
  8. Panagiotis Papaspiliopoulos

Latin Case Study

  1. Jothan Frakes (Coordinator)
  2. Andrzej Bartosiewicz
  3. Cary Karp
  4. Eric Brown
  5. Francisco Obispo
  6. Giovanni Seppia
  7. Wil Tan
  8. Will Shorter


  • The joint ccNSO-GNSO Working Group on IDNs (JIG) will appoint an observer for each case study.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:

ICANN Board Votes to Enhance New gTLDs Competition

New gTLD Registrars and Registries will Compete for the Benefit of ConsumersICANN’s Board of Directors voted to allow new gTLD registries to own registrars, opting not to create new rules prohibiting registrars from applying for or operating new gTLD registries.Following over two years of community discussions, which had not resulted in consensus, the Board carefully considered expert economic advice, community comments, and numerous proposed approaches to registry-registrar cross-ownership.”In the absence of existing policy or new bottom-up policy recommendations, the Board saw no rationale for placing restrictions on cross-ownership;” said Peter Dengate Thrush, Chairman of the Board. “Any possible abuses can be better addressed by properly targeted mechanisms. Co-ownership rules are not an optimal technique in this area.”Under the Board resolution additional enforcement mechanisms have been added. New gTLD registry agreements are to include: (1) a Code of Conduct prohibiting any misuse of data or other abusive conduct arising out of registry-registrar cross-ownership; (2) robust auditing requirements; (3) graduated sanctions up to and including contractual termination and punitive damages; and (4) ICANN’s right to refer competition issues to appropriate government competition authorities.Background: The cross-ownership provisions have varied over time and no formal “policy” on this topic has ever been recommended or adopted by ICANN. (For example, each of the seven new gTLDs delegated by ICANN in the 2000-2001 proof-of-concept introduced by ICANN in 2000 have featured some degree of registry-registrar cross-operation or cross-ownership.)The ICANN community has been discussing whether to continue, expand or remove the restrictions in current registry agreements that limit the existing registries from owning more than 15% of a registrar. Some have urged the creation of new rules that would for the first time prohibit registrars from applying for or operating new gTLDs.The ICANN Board had previously attempted to spur a consensus view, asking ICANN’s GNSO to resolve the registry-registrar cross-ownership question. In May 2010, the ICANN Board encouraged the GNSO to develop a consensus based policy on this issue, but indicated that the Board would review the issue if no consensus position was reached. The GNSO recently reported that it has been unable to reach consensus.###To read the resolutions passed by ICANN Board, go here: icann.org/en/minutes/resolutions-05nov10-en.htmTo learn more about gTLDs, go here: icann.org/en/topics/new-gtld-program.htmThis ICANN announcement was sourced from:

ICANN: Public Comments Requested on Interim Paper on Policy Aspects Regarding Introduction of Single Character IDN TLDs

ICANN logoThe joint ccNSO and GNSO IDN working group (JIG) is pleased to announce the publication of the working group’s Initial Report [PDF, 192 KB] on the introduction of Single Character IDN TLDs. This Report is intended to be a stocktaking of the policy issues regarding the introduction of Single Character IDN TLDs and some viewpoints on possible policy implementations that could address those issues. The JIG solicits input and comment from the community on these policy issues and viewpoints. The working group identifies the following policy issue area’s:

  1. Possible confusion with reserved single character ASCII TLD strings
  2. Whether special financial considerations should be considered
  3. Whether due to the relatively smaller pool of possible names that special allocation methods should be considered
  4. Whether due to the relatively shorter string, it may be easier for users to make mistakes, and that special policies should be considered
  5. Whether additional criteria should be introduced to qualify a Single Character IDN TLD as an IDN ccTLD or IDN gTLD
  6. Whether special policies are required to address usability of Single Character IDN TLDs given existing application environments

To be most helpful you are kindly requested to submit your comments by 9 September 2010 at: http://www.icann.org/en/public-comment/public-comment-201009-en.htm#jig-initial-report

An archive of all comments received will be publicly available.

Background and Next Steps

The ccNSO and GNSO Councils recognized there may be topics and/ or issues related to the introduction of IDN TLDs which are of common interest to both the GNSO and ccNSO, and which are preferably addressed in a collaborative effort through the GNSO and ccNSO. For that matter the Councils established a joint IDN working group. The charter of the working group can be found at: http://ccnso.icann.org/workinggroups/jiwg.htm.

According to its charter the purpose of the joint working group is to identify and explore issues and topics of common interest, if any, and of relevance to both the cNSO and GNSO, report on such an identified issues to the ccNSO and GNSO Councils and propose a methodology to address the issue. To date the JIG identified the following areas of common interest:

  1. Single Character IDN TLDs
  2. IDN TLD Variants
  3. Universal Acceptance of IDN TLDs

After closure of the comment period, the working group will finalise the Initial Report taking into account the public comments and input and publish a Final Report to be submitted to the ccNSO and GNSO Councils for their consideration. During the public comment period the Working Group will continue its work on the other topics identified by the working group as of common interest to both the ccNSO and GNSO.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from: