Home / Industry

It's a Wrap - .CO Specially Protected Marks Program Wraps Up, 100% Participation by Leading Brands

As part of our global launch plan, .CO Internet has worked very hard to ensure that the rights of trademark owners would be respected and protected within the .CO domain. Among other things, this included implementing a variety of Rights Protection Mechanisms (RPMs) to safeguard the intellectual property rights of brand owners — and to protect the integrity of the entire .CO namespace.

One innovative RPM that we are very proud of is the .CO Specially Protected Marks Program, or "SPM." The program kicked off in March, just prior to the start of the Sunrise process, and concluded just this week. The purpose of the SPM was to give some of the world's leading brands the opportunity to secure their corresponding .CO domain name(s) without the commensurate time, fees and other expenses typically associated with the trademark validation process.

In implementing the SPM, the biggest challenge we faced was how to define "which" companies should be granted this special protected status. We debated using the Inter-brand 100 list and/or other public lists of "top brands" — but none seemed to fit our needs perfectly.

Luckily, the world-leading consulting firm Deloitte had just what the doctor ordered! Known the world-over for its expertise in defining and executing innovative RPMs, Deloitte created its own "top 100 brand list" — called the "Deloitte Brand List” or "DBL." Using criteria independently defined, interpreted and applied by Deloitte in collaboration with Bart Lieben of the Belgian law firm Laga, the brands included on the DBL were determined to have distinguished themselves among their peers for the proactive measures they have taken to safeguard and enforce their trademark rights on the Internet — and in the domain name space in particular.

While the .CO SPM was never intended to achieve all of the broad benefits conceived for the "Globally Protected Marks” List (GPML) that continues to be hotly debated within the ICANN community — our ultimate purpose was the same. Our intention was simply to ease the burden and expense typically associated with defensive registrations for the world's leading brands.

Did we achieve our goal? Yes, I believe that we did! I'm happy to report that as of today, we have had a 100% participation rate in the .CO SPM — with all of the brands identified on the DBL currently having secured or in the process of securing their corresponding .CO domains — including brands like Facebook, Ferrari, Blackberry, Siemens, Sanyo, Amazon, Honda, GAP and Barbie to name just a few.

Was the .CO SPM perfect? I can say with great confidence that it certainly was NOT! (Just ask all the brand owners that were not included in the DBL list for some reason or another — and I'm sure they'll agree!) The reality is that we knew going into this that being the first domain registry to implement some form of "protected marks list" would open us up to some criticism. With little precedent to guide us, and lots of different opinions about the "right" way to do things — we knew it would be impossible to make everyone happy.

Even though ICANN has yet to reach a consensus on a workable solution for implementing a GPML, one of our company's core philosophies is that "it's better to light a match than to curse the darkness..." And so, even though we could not consider every possible interest, risk and/or concern, we decided to plow ahead and to give it our best shot. We're so glad that we did.

While the program was not perfect, the feedback from brand owners and industry leaders has been positive. We hope that our small success with the SPM will help to pave the way for other TLDs to launch similar GPML-like initiatives that will both protect the rights of brand owners and help to allay some of the lingering concerns by the business community about the launch of the new gTLD.

About .CO Internet

.CO Internet

.CO Internet S.A.S. is the Registry Operator for the .CO top-level domain. Short, memorable and credible, .CO is the hot, new ending for web addresses all over the world. From start-ups and small businesses to big brands and multinational corporations, .CO is increasingly becoming the web address of choice for innovators and entrepreneurs across the globe. Please visit http://www.COinternet.co and http://www.go.co for more information. You can also follow us on Twitter @dotCO and at Facebook.com/dotCO. Learn More

Related topics: Cybersquatting, Domain Names, Registry Services, Top-Level Domains

WEEKLY WRAP — Get CircleID's Weekly Summary Report by Email:

Related Blogs

Related News


Industry Updates – Sponsored Posts

We're Moving Forward. You Coming?

City of Miami 3rd in U.S. to Launch Dedicated TLD

Internet Grows to 296 Million Domain Names in Q2 2015

.Online Becomes the Fastest TLD to Sell 50,000 Domains

.ONLINE GA Launches with 28,000 Registrations in the First 30 Minutes

.ONLINE Sees the Biggest Generic Sunrise Ever

Influential Law Firms Have Become Early Adopters of '.law' TLD

.Online Receives 550+ Sunrise Requests, a Fortnight Still to Go

40+ Pioneers Signed on for .TECH, as it Enters EAP Today‚Ä®

WeddingWire Joins Minds + Machines As New TLD '.Wedding' Pioneer

Minds + Machines and ALM Media Announce Strategic Partnership on .law

LogicBoxes Introduces DomainBridge

Independent Review Panel Favored DotConnectAfrica Trust Against ICANN Ruling Over .Africa Domain

Carlsberg Group Joins Minds + Machines Pioneer Program

In Celebration of Marriage Equality Each New .LGBT Name Donates $20 to the It Gets Better Project

Afilias Adds .PROMO to Its Expanding List of Top Level Domains

LogicBoxes Helps .MN Registry Grow by 350%

TLD Security, Spec 11 and Business Implications

LogicBoxes Powers .NGO & .ONG Retail and Wholesale Channels for ENSET

Alabama Joins dotVOTE Movement - Announces Alabama.vote for Its Election Site

Sponsored Topics