Recent developments in domain names: New gTLDS, ICANN Singapore…

business-dreyfus-81-150x150The new gTLD program is now fairly advanced and the launches follow one another in rapid succession. To date, ICANN has signed over 400 registry agreements with applicants: 248 gTLDs have already been delegated in the Internet’s authoritative database (known as the Root Zone) of domain names.


Three Sunrise periods will terminate on April 28 (social, review and futbol) and four between April 29 and May 3 (wien, qpon, works, expert).


Amongst the gTLDs currently being launched, several of them may be useful to promote marketing strategies, particularly geographical gTLDS (london, nyc, cologne, wien). Other gTLDs such as .expert, .partner or .services are interesting in many ways. Registration rules are entirely open for these gTLDS. In order to avoid cases of harmful cybersquatting, we recommend the preventive registration of your trademarks by taking advantage of the Sunrise period.


We remind you that in order to participate in Sunrise periods, trademarks must be registered with the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) and you must have the corresponding SMD files.



First conclusive results of Trademark Clearinghouse

Trademark Clearinghouse does not offer absolute protection but is highly effective nonetheless. By the end of March, TMCH said it had sent around 500,000 notifications to registrants notifying them of a potential case of cybersquatting. Only 25,000 of them, i.e. 5%, ignored these warnings.


As a reminder, the TMCH has two main functions:


  • To notify the trademark owner and the registrant of potential cases of cybersquatting;
  • To give a priority right for the registration of trademarks in the new gTLDs during the Sunrise period.


Donuts gTLDs

The Donuts program ended its first Sunrise period at the end of last month with .solar, .coffee, .international, .house and .florist. You will find below a list of current and forthcoming Sunrise periods:


  • Sunrise from February 25, 2014 to April 26, 2014: proposed gTLDs are: .COOL and .WATCH
  • Sunrise from March 4, 2014 to May 3, 2014: proposed gTLDs are: .WORKS and .EXPERT
  • Sunrise from March 11, 2014 until May 10, 2014: proposed gTLDs are: .FOUNDATION and .EXPOSED
  • Sunrise from March 18, 2014 to May 17, 2014: proposed gTLDs are: .VILLAS, .FLIGHT, .RENTALS, .CRUISES and .VACATIONS
  • Sunrise from March 25, 2014 to May 24, 2014: proposed gTLDs are: .CONDOS, .PROPERTIES, .MAISONS and .TIENDA
  • Sunrise from April 1, 2014 to May 31, 2014: proposed gTLDs are: .DATING, .EVENTS, .PARTNERS and .PRODUCTIONS
  • Sunrise from April 8, 2014 to June 7, 2014: proposed gTLDs are: .COMMUNITY, .CATERING, .CARDS and .CLEANING
  • Sunrise from April 15, 2014 to June 14, 2014: proposed gTLDs are: .TOOLS, .INDUSTRIES, .PARTS, .SUPPLIES and .SUPPLY
  • Sunrise from April 22, 2014 to June 21, 2014: proposed gTLDs are: .REPORT, .VISION and .FISH
  • Sunrise from April 29, 2014 to June 8, 2014: proposed gTLD is: .SERVICES.


Donuts also maintains its Early Access Program. This program started on April 23 for the gTLDs .CHEAP, .ZONE, .AGENCY, .BARGAINS and .BOUTIQUE and will start on April 30 with respect to .COOL and .WATCH. The Early Access Program is a period that offers fixed price names each day on a “first come-first served” basis; prices vary from $ 10,500 on the first day to $ 125 on 5th, 6th and 7th days.



Sunrise period for new geographical gTLDS

The Dot London Domains registry offers a Sunrise period for .LONDON from April 29 to July 31. A physical presence in London will initially be mandatory for the registration of domain names. The gTLD will later be opened unconditionally.


The NetCologne registry of gTLDS .COLOGNE and .KOELN will open the corresponding Sunrise periods on June 12, 2014.



Sunrise period for.ARCHI

StartingDot, which will offer inter alia gTLDs .SKI, .ARCHI and .BIO, opened a Sunrise period for .ARCHI which will end on June 8, 2014.


.ARCHI targets architects and their firms. .ARCHI aims to put under one roof a wide community of architects and architectural firms throughout the world.



Sunrises for new non-Latin’s gTLDs

  • Sunrise from April 2, 2014 to June 2, 2014: the proposed gTLD is: 世界 (which means “world” in Chinese)
  • Sunrise from April 7, 2014 to June 6, 2014: the proposed gTLD is: ДЕТИ (which means “children” in Russian)
  • Sunrise from April 22, 2014 to May 22, 2014: the proposed gTLDs are: .संगठन (which means “organisation” in Hindi), .机构 (which means “office” in Chinese) and ОРГ (which means “org” in Mongol)

The Chinese gTLD 商城 (“commercial complex”) will be opened in Sunrise mode as from May 6.



Dot trademark TLDs

The Specification 13 to registry agreement was adopted in Singapore at the last meeting of ICANN in late March. It exempts registrars of new gTLDS corresponding to trademarks (such as .chanel and .hermes) from opening a Sunrise period.



The registration of domain names in new gTLDs (new gTLDs)

As of 24 April, the five gTLDs with the largest number of registrations were as follows:


  • .GURU            52,084 registrations
  • .BERLIN            46,613 registrations
  • .PHOTOGRAPHY    33,112 registrations
  • .EMAIL            24,598 registrations
  • .LINK            22,384 registrations

In total, around 580,000 domain names carrying new gTLDS have already been reserved.



The second-hand market of new gTLDs

Sedo, an online marketplace for the sale of domain names, reported 513 transactions for an amount of around one million dollars.


The highest sales of Sedo this week were as follows:

  •, sold for $25,000
  • gewerbeflä sold for €16,000
  • Among the new gTLDs, the domain name  <>  was sold for $13,750

Ten percent of the latest sales are .club domain names :

  •    $13,750
  •        $12,500
  •        $1,.500
  •        $10,000
  •    $10,000
  •        $10,000



UDRP proceedings

Since the launch of new gTLDs, cybersquatting has become more frequent. UDRP decisions have been made in relation to domain names using .CLOTHING, .HOLDINGS, .DIAMONDS, or even .CEO and .GURU.


It is therefore important to monitor closely new gTLDs. In order to avoid any cybersquatting, we recommend the registration of your trademarks with TMCH as well as the global monitoring of trademarks amongst domain names.




ICANN 49 Singapore

Several major announcements were made in Singapore:


  • Name Collisions

The Name Collisions are, in summary, terms that registries of new gTLDs will not be able to offer for sale as they may imperil the security and stability of the Internet. The terms which ICANN does not want to see registered may be highly valuable. Yet, ICANN remains cautious and wants to see first how the Internet’s authoritative database of domain names will “digest” all these names.


  • Replacement of WHOIS

The structure of WHOIS, an identity sheet of domain names, is under review. ICANN wants to make it more relevant and accurate. A task force will deliver the conclusions of its study at the next meeting of ICANN in June this year. The WHOIS will likely be replaced by RDS (Registration Directory Services). RDS would replace WHOIS which is too uniform and less adapted to current practices (frauds, data mining etc.) and would allow a genuine verification of the identify of registrants while relying on a flexible system, adapted to the legislations of various countries, particularly with regards to data retention (see below).


  • Governance

The NTIA, a U.S government agency which manages part of the Internet has announced its intention to transfer its powers to a new multi-stakeholders global governance scheme, which will be more open and transparent. The transition should be completed by August 2015. ICANN has announced in Singapore that it will focus on the process and the scope of the transition and on how to address the needs of the future stakeholders.


  • Data Retention

The agreement between the ICANN and registrars– the RAA – signed in 2013, stipulates that the latter must retain for two years all data concerning domain names holders. This is in breach of European law, which imposes a maximum duration of 1 year. ICANN has therefore set out exceptions for Europeanregistrars.


  •     2nd phase of applications for new gTLDs


ICANN had undertaken to open a new phase of applications for new gTLDs. The issue was discussed at the meeting in Singapore but no deadline has been set yet.


The next meeting of ICANN will take place in London in July 2014.


To be followed!