Thursday, February 21, 2019

Google uses .LINK domain names

As a long time user of G Suite (the Google platform to operate a company), I follow up with their group entitled "G Suite Visible Changes for customers only". I receive updates about coming upgrades of the Suite. A moderator from the group publishes a URL to point to a Google Doc.

It is the first time that I notice the use of a ".link" domain name and I checked who the moderator is and it is a Google employee so I guess that must be part of a rule to publish information.

Why use a ".link" domain name?
Well, the example says it all and demonstrates exactly why new domain names from the ICANN new gTLD program are useful:
  • they are descriptive of an action, a subject or a content;
  • they mean something.
A link is "a link" and that's precisely what the capture shows below: to go to an information, you should follow this link (please click to enlarge).


Am sure Frank is going to be happy with this :-)

Acquiring a Registry (new gTLDs)

That might sound like an unfamiliar approach but many of the new gTLD industry reads this blog's publications. For this reason...they will probably read the below :-)

Hunting for a Registry
I tend to have that question coming more: "Jean, would you know someone willing to sell his extension?" Some are looking forward to buy an extension. On the other side, some are selling too but the problem with this is that you don't publish about it: you don't write that you want to drop your TLD (probably because you don't want to have to explain the reason for this).

I once contacted some targets: the .BANQUE new gTLD did not even answer my email, neither did the .WED (which appears to be in a bad position).

If I have no interest in these two anymore, this is the message that I want to send: some interested parties are looking forward to buying a Top-Level Domain BEFORE the next round starts, and I receive such questions more and more.

I will sign your NDA
Existing registries and backend registries certainly won't want a publication about a client wanting to get rid of his TLD, for this reason, I will be happy to sign whatever non-disclosure agreement you will want me to sign.

Backend registries, are you reading this?

;-)

Monday, February 18, 2019

The .MONSTER Sunrise Period starts

The Trademark Clearinghouse is starting a new Sunrise Period today and if you are Monster, this is a good day for you: these domain names are for you. The .XYZ new gTLD team acquired the .MONSTER new gTLD and is relaunching it.

When
  • START: Monday, 18 February, 2019 - 16:00;
  • END: Wednesday, 20 March, 2019 - 16:00.

What the outdated application says
Monster Worldwide, Inc., parent company of Monster, the premier global online employment solution for more than a decade, strives to inspire people to improve their lives. Monster is the worldwide leader in successfully connecting people to job opportunities. From the web, to mobile to social, we help companies find people with customized solutions and we use the worldʹs most advanced technology to match the right people to the right job. With a local presence in key markets in North America, Europe, and Asia, Monster works for everyone by connecting employers with quality job seekers at all levels and by providing personalized career advice to consumers globally.
Monster’s focus is on the needs of its customers, both employers and job seekers. Our advanced products and services are intended to improve the seeker experience while also developing deeper relationships with our employer customers. Through innovative products and features, we offer greater value to all job seekers who look to manage their careers, even those seekers who are not actively engaged in a job search. Our product offerings and services are designed to enhance seeker engagement and increase job response rate. We believe that more active seeker engagement will translate directly into higher quality candidates for our employer customers. For employers, our tools and features allow them to more efficiently and effectively attract and find the most relevant candidates for their job openings.
The proposed .monster gTLD is a restricted, single-registrant TLD that would help Monster continue as the global leader in online recruitment by enhancing and expanding Monster Worldwide’s ability to:

  • simplify Internet user navigation to Monster Worldwide products and services;
  • deliver new and innovative products and services;
  • enable marketing campaign activation;
  • facilitate secure interaction and communication with employers and job seekers;
  • improve business operations;
  • demonstrate market leadership in adopting innovative technologies; and
  • meet future client expectations and competitive market demands.
The outdated application can be read here (to be downloaded). It would be nice it the ICANN updated them: many are now outdated.

What the TLD (really) is for
Extracted from the website, this is what ".monster" domain names are for: ".Monster is a domain for creative thinkers, masters of their craft, and modern-day renegades. Customers choose .Monster domains for their scary good ideas".

Check the Trademark Clearinghouse calendar for more.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

UPDATED: Jovenet Consulting: The Group

I am launching "another" publication platform for users to follow the new gTLD News. This time, I will add publications to a Google Group.

What:
This group lists publications related to new generic Top-Level Domains (new gTLDs). Questions on new gTLD projects, dotBrand, community or geographic TLDs are welcome. This group is about sharing and learning about Registries and next rounds of the ICANN new gTLD program.

Where:
Where to read all publications:
  1. Here: https://www.jovenet.consulting/news/group and it's better if you use Chrome (since Internet Explorer bugs the page), or;
  2. Here: https://groups.google.com/a/jovenet.consulting/d/forum/post (the URL is ugly but unfortunately, Google Groups does not (yet) allow to map a domain name to it.
To post, send an email:
To post your publication(s), you should send an email to post@jovenet.consulting (content is moderated):
  1. Object of the email is your Title
  2. Content of the email is the Content to be published.
Why:
I believe that the ICANN is not as good as it could to promote new gTLDs and registries lack sales people or ambassadors to promote their string's identity. Talking to ICANN insiders only is not enough.
Also multiplying places where content can be accessed benefits to all: potential interested parties, new gTLDs, registries, potential applicants and sponsors (that is right, you can sponsor these platforms and increase your visibility).

And:
For the moment, content posted should be the same as the one posted to the new gTLD LinkedIn group (2,700 subscribers) but the idea is to migrate to a platform owned by Jovenet Consulting. I am confident that Google will allow G Suite users to personalize the URL of their groups in the future.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Before you submit your new gTLD application...

...don't forget to tread this :-)

.YELLOWPAGES new gTLD
This is the expert determination legal rights objection dated July 25, 2013:
...having reviewed the eight non-exclusive consideration factors set forth in the Applicant Guidebook section 3.2.5, the Panel finds that the Objector has failed to establish, as it alleges, that the potential use of the Applied-for gTLD by the applicant …unjustifiably impairs the distinctive character or the reputation of the objector’s mark… or creates an impermissible likelihood of confusion between the applied for gTLD and the Objector’s mark.” The Panel also finds no indications that such use takes unfair advantage of the distinctive character or the reputation of the objector’s registered or unregistered trademark or service mark.
In simple words
There was one applicant for the .YELLOWPAGEs new gTLD and an objector:
  1. The Objector’s mark is “YELLOW PAGES” (the “Objector’s Mark” or the “YELLOW PAGES Mark”);
  2. The Applicant (for the ".yellowpages" new gTLD) is internationally renowned as Australia’s leading telecommunications and information services company.
In this proceeding, the Objector has made a Legal Rights Objection (LRO) which refers to an objection that the string comprising the Applied-for gTLD infringes the existing legal rights of others that are recognized and enforceable under generally accepted and internationally recognized principles of law.

The Objector cited the Procedure, Article 8 and the Applicant Guidebook Section 3.5.2 (ii) and (iii) as the bases for the LRO. The Objector acknowledged that the Applicant may be the genuine proprietor of YELLOW PAGES in Australia. However, given this territorial limitation and the number of other genuine YELLOW PAGES directory providers internationally who are not connected with the Applicant, the Objector objected to an application to secure monopoly rights in the Applied-for gTLD.

The Applicant argued that the Objector made three basic points:
  1. the Objector (or a third party) holds territorial rights in the name “YELLOW PAGES”;
  2. in some jurisdictions the name “YELLOW PAGES” is generic;
  3. the name “YELLOW PAGES” is identical to the Applied-for gTLD.
The Applicant countered the arguments made by the Objector under sections 3.5.2(ii) and (iii) of the Applicant Guidebook. The Panel reviewed each of the consideration factors discussed and concluded that the nature of the gTLD regime that those applicants who were granted gTLDs would have first level power extending throughout the Internet and across jurisdictions. The prospect of coincidence of brand names and a likelihood of confusion exists.

Conclusion
There are several Yellow Pages websites around the world in numerous countries, but one of them, whatever the kid of protection it had, could not secure the only available domain name extension.

"First-level power"
Whatever the kind of extension it is: a .BRAND, a generic, a community or a geographic one, one chair is available only. This title defines exactly what a new gTLD can be: a possibility to grab a generic term, a keyword, and sit on top of a pyramid to watch competition look up at you. I like to use the work "Monopoly" for new gTLDs: isn't it what they are?

Read the full LRO here and learn why the objection was rejected.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Action required: 5 year Proof Of Use re-validation

The Proof Of Use documents (signed declaration and sample) of the TMCH trademark records must be re-validated every 5 years. In case your documents are (almost) older than 5 years, you are required to re-verify the validity and actuality of the uploaded sample and declaration of use.

To do so, a POU revalidation page has been launched on the TMCH web interface. This page is accessible when logged in to your account, via the right hand side of the page in the Mark overview tab or Mark details page.


The possibility to re-validate your POU will only be available in case you have POU documents that are almost 5 years or older.

For further details on the different steps to re-validate your POU documents, please refer to the one pager below or the full manual.

In case you have any further questions related to the revalidation of the POU, feel free to contact the Trademark Clearinghouse directly via their hotline or via their support page.

Download the documentation

Friday, February 8, 2019

Interesting use of the .WEBER new gTLD

Many dotBrand new gTLD applicants still don't know what to do with their personalized domain name extension. I am confident that a lot of service providers have plenty of ideas on how to use such domain names but some Trademarks are starting to demonstrate interesting uses of their TLD.

Languages, not countries
I find it funny to browse on a website to find country flags pointing to language pages. When thinking twice, is this really what the web is made for and don't we already use country code Top-Level Domains for this: shouldn't a ccTLD qualify to point to the website of a company FOR its country of residence and not the language in which its content is offered?

Today, many websites use the flag of a country to point to a language but then, why use an American flag when you could use a British one to point to an English written content? The same applies to all other most spoken languages in the world: Spanish is spoken in Mexico for example, and French is spoken in Canada.

The Weber use of their .BRAND new gTLD
I went to Google and hit "site:.weber" (without quotations) in the search field and I found the list of ".weber" domain names using two letter country codes as their second level domain:
  • www.es.weber
  • www.fr.weber
  • www.ru.weber
  • www.bg.weber
  • www.hu.weber
  • www.de.weber
  • etc...
When checking each page, there is no sign of a flag or a country name, so my understanding of this strategy is that each content is dedicated to...a language and not a country of residence (but UK maybe and its www.uk.weber). I found no www.us.weber (USA) nor a www.ca.weber (Canada).

For the note, there are official codes for countries, but there are 3 letter codes for languages too. For content dedicated to languages, I would rather have chosen 3 letter codes.

DotBrand new gTLDs offer new opportunities
Country codes Top-Level Domains (two letter domain name extensions) and sub-domains (the "www" in a domain name  for example) already offered plenty of opportunities but a .BRAND new gTLD offers something that all other domain name strategies do not offer:
  • Availability: all domain names are available in a .BRAND new gTLD;
  • Innovation: using official 3 letter second level domain names could be the next trend to qualify a content in a specific language.

THE.BEST Social Network: NamesCon keynote 2

NamesCon 2019: CEO Cyril Fremont, .Best Keynote, Presenting THE.BEST Social Network:
  • Rewarded;
  • Decengtralized;
  • Responsible;
  • And Global.

Register your Trademark using an agent.