Friday, June 5, 2015

How will .WINE and .WIN new gTLDs coexist?

The .WINE new gTLD situation
Nobody knows if .WINE new gTLD will ever see the day. It is possible that the situation remains as it is: a "no situation". If we stick to the ICANN new gTLD applicant guidebook which says that Round 2 should start within the year following the end of Round 1; it means that this .WINE "no situation" could block Round 2 from happening if no solution is found...

Who cares?
Both applicants and contestants wanted that, didn't they? I am confident the ICANN will solve this situation whatever the new gTLD applicant guidebook says but one question remains: what happens when .WINE launches and; a question to have now AND NOT IN 10 years; what happens if both .WINE and .WIN new gTLDs have to coexist?

.WIN new gTLD has launched
The .WIN new gTLD application was submitted by Famous Four Media, a friendly company based in Gibraltar. The applicant also submitted an application for .WINE but withdrew it for a reason only Bacchus knows (in fact, there is a story around this but I find it really boring to count it again).

Mission and Purpose of ".WIN"
Extracted from the application itself: "The Applicant’s mission and purpose is to create an environment where individuals and companies can interact and express themselves in ways never before seen on the Internet, in a more targeted, secure and stable environment. Its aim is to become the premier online destination for such creators and their wide range of users. The Applicant will create an Internet space whose central function is to provide a platform for creating, producing and disseminating informative, creative and innovative content that is easily recognizable as pertaining to its stakeholder group. The Applicant is acutely aware of the importance of ICANN’s mission in coordinating the global Internetʹs systems of unique identifiers and ensuring their secure and stable operation. The Applicant’s core focus is to create a secure, sustainable, and specialized gTLD, thus supporting ICANN’s primary goals for this program in promoting consumer trust, consumer choice, competition and innovation". For more, have a look here.

Questions to have if both TLDs ever have to coexist
You probably noticed that .WINE is the same as .WIN but with an "E" added (...) Here is a few questions that come to my mind if both new gTLDs were to coexist one day. Note that this intense thinking is valid for the 10 coming years:
  1. If you are a wine producer with the intention to register a domain name ending in ".wine": what happens if someone registers the same domain in ".win" in the coming days (the ".win" new gTLD just entered its Sunrise Period)?
    1. If you are registered in the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH), you should receive a notice about a similar registration but another suggestion could be to register your ".win" domain name now.
    2. If you are not registered in the TMCH but have a Trademark, I suggest to do this now with an agent;
    3. If you don't have a Trademark, I suggest you to ask the following question in the Trademark Clearinghouse LinkedIn group: "what is the fastest way to register a Trademark and who should I do that with?", then proceed with an Agent.
    4. If you don't have the money to register a Trademark, don't tell anybody about your situation and secure your domain name as soon as Monday, 3 August, 2015 - 16:00 (more or less) with Uniregistry: one of the cheapest Registrar in the Industry.
  2. What's the plan if you are registering a ".win" domain name but can't avoid to miss the same domain name when ".wine" launches? Read above.
  3. What if .WINE is cancelled by ICANN (you never know) and I registered a ".win" domain name: what should I do with it? Keep it... If .WINE (and .VIN by the way) new gTLD(s) don't see the day in the first Round, they probably will in the second one (2017/2018 hopefully).
I strongly recommend to submit your Datas in the Trademark Clearinghouse for the reasons explained above. I'll come back on .WINE when something happens.

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