Domain Names

Domain Names / Featured Blogs

One We've Been Waiting For: Google Switches TLD Registrar to .Google Domain Name

If you've read my posts before you'll be well aware that as a strong advocate for .brands and the power they have to revolutionise digital marketing effectiveness, I am always eager to share some love with organisations that have taken the leap and launched their .brand TLDs. In recent months we've seen diverse and exciting examples from BMW, the Australian Football League and CERN - just to name a notable few. I have the privilege of advising some of the world's largest companies on their .brand strategy, but one recurring question I hear is "When will we see .google and how will they use it?" more»

Running the Gamut: Commentary, Criticism, Tarnishment, Disparagement, and Defamation

The two bookends of speaking one's mind are commentary and criticism, which is indisputably acceptable as protected speech, and (in order of abuse) tarnishment and disparagement. Defamation, which is a stage beyond disparagement, is not actionable under the UDRP, although tarnishment and disparagement may be. In ICANN's lexicon, tarnishment is limited in meaning to "acts done with intent to commercially gain" (Second Staff Report, October 24, 2009, footnote 2). more»

Why Overseas Registries Shouldn't Worry About China's New Domain Name Regulation

On March 25th, 2016, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) officially posted its revisions to the "Chinese Measures for the Administration of Domain Names" (2016 edition) for public comment. A decade has gone by since the latest administration measures were introduced in 2004 (2004 edition). Registries and registrars have been longing to see this update for a while, and it is therefore no surprise that the new edition has drawn substantial attention at home and abroad. more»

China's MIIT Clarifies New Domain Name Regulations, Allays Concerns Over Government Interference

A recent clarification to draft domain name regulations by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) indicates greater engagement and openness with the domain name market, not a contraction as some had feared. Following the MIIT's announcement on March 25th 2016, the same Ministry issued a clarification on Wednesday March 30th stating that its new draft regulations will not affect any foreign enterprises or foreign websites from resolving in China. more»

Transfers of Domain Names Contemporaneous with Complaint: Cyberflight?

Cyberflight (defined as strategically transferring accused domain names to another registrar or registrant upon receipt of a complaint) was a sufficient irritant by 2013 for the ICANN to adopt recommendations to amend the Rules of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). Effective July 1, 2015 the Rules now include a requirement for locking the domain as well as a change in the timing of transmitting the complaint to respondents. Before the amendment there had been no uniform approach to locking. more»

The Growing Threat of Cybersquatting in the Banking and Finance Sector

The apparent cyber heist of of $81 million from the Bangladesh central bank's U.S. account may cause some people to question the security of online banking. While the online theft prompted SWIFT - a cooperative owned by 3,000 financial institutions around the world -- to make sure banks are following recommended security practices, the incident also could have ramifications for banking customers worldwide. more»

ICANN 55, Marrakech: Witnessing a Historic Event, Community Empowered Work Continues

Earlier this month, MarkMonitor representatives were privileged to witness, at the first ICANN meeting of 2016 in Marrakech, Morroco, the historic presentation of the plan to transfer the stewardship of key internet functions (IANA) from the United States Government to a community and consensus-based model of governance through ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). more»

Registering and Monetizing Personal Names

At the top of WIPO's list of the most cybersquatted trademarks for 2015 (issued on March 18, 2016) is "Hugo Boss" with 62 complaints. The report also reveals that the fashion industry led other commercial sectors with 10% of complainant activity. Not surprisingly, in this sector companies (couturiers extending their services to the general public) are branded with the personal names of their founders. Why any registrant would intentionally target well-known personal names in the fashion industry is a mystery because there's no future in it. In fact, complaints are never answered and always successful. more»

What is the Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC)?

As a longtime member of ICANN's Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC), I'm impressed by the important work that this group does on behalf of trademark owners worldwide (as I've written before). While some die-hard IPC members spend countless (and, often, thankless) hours working virtually and in-person (at ICANN's global meetings) for the constituency, I find it very educational and worthwhile to participate on an ad-hoc basis. more»

Charter Approved to Review All Rights Protections Mechanisms in All Generic TLDs

On March 9th, 2016, during its final open meeting at ICANN 55 in Marrakech, Morocco, the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council approved a motion that I proposed to adopt the Charter of the Policy Development Process (PDP) to Review all Rights Protections Mechanisms (RPMs) in all Generic Top-Level Domains. I serve on the Council as one of the two representatives of ICANN's Business Constituency, and my fellow Councilors have designated me to serve as the GNSO's Liaison to the Working Group (WG), and as its Interim Chair. more»