Monday, February 18, 2019

The .MONSTER Sunrise Period starts

The Trademark Clearinghouse is starting a new Sunrise Period today and if you a 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What the outdated application says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.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

THE.BEST Social Network: NamesCon keynote 1

This is the first part of a live introduction to the The.BEST Social Network, by Cyril Fremont. This intro was done during the last NamesCon in Las Vegas.


Reminder: THE.BEST social network is an innovative social network to launch in 2019. It is based on the use of ".best" domain names and will come with plenty more surprises ;-)

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Will it be .SEARCH or a .BRAND search engine?

Innovating in new gTLDs is risky and has to be financed, but a strong advantage that a new domain name extension has, is that...it is alone. I like to say that it is some kind of monopoly: the owner of the extension controls...the meaning of the extension and so...all contents created using one of these domain names. If selling domain names through the network of accredited registrars "is the way" to do it today to generate an income for an registry (operator of the domain name extension) there could be a much more lucrative way to operate a new gTLD: what about selling a service based on a ".brand" new gTLD?

Controlling domains
There is a benefit in controlling who can create domain names. If anyone can register a domain name in most domain name extensions offered through the network of accredited registrars, it is impossible when using ".dotbrand" ones since the extension is controlled by the owner of the Brand (let's say a trademark in this example). For example, it avoids one to register a domain name to have a fraudulent use of it. Also, it blocks squatting from happening, phishing, homoglyphs from being created, and other infringements: the Registry "is" the Brand and does not allow third parties to register domain names.

Controlling content
In the case of a trademark selling a service through controlled domain names such as ".brand" ones, controlling content is made easy since the party to receive the benefit of using the domain name has to use it according to the trademark's rules. I like to remind that the new operator of the website is not the owner of the domain name. Controlling the use of such domain names can be done in several ways:
  • Through the use of a dedicated platform, developed by the owner of the extension (ie: the .TEL Registry in 2007). In this case, there is no other possible use but to use the domain name platform.
  • Through the use of strict written rules (domain name policy). Some Trademarks already offer a such way to proceed to their affiliated but they don't sell online.
Controlling security
The advantage of controlling the "dotBRAND" is the capacity to start a project using HSTS (HTTP Strict Transport Security) so all websites offer SSL. Few registries are "forcing" users to use secured websites: if it has always been an option for website owners, the future now shows that having a secured websites - especially when selling online - will be important in the future.

Controlling location
One Trademark might want to have a targeted worldwide presence on specific geographical areas but not on other subjects. For example, a Trademark could look for an international presence in cities but not on product names or other generic terms. Creating city names can be industrialized on a .BRAND extension: it is just a matter of having a list of city names and creating the exact same second level domain (for example: boston.extension). The benefit is that a city acquires the capacity to operate content under its real generic city name and all of them are available. Operating a www.city.brand becomes possible and has a strong SEO benefit. It also has an advantage in terms of branding: www.city.brand looks nicer than www.citybrandwhatever.com doesn't it? Also, you do not control location over a complete TLD if anyone is allowed to register any kind of domain name for any kind of content: when operating your extension, you are in total control.

Note that city names are sometimes trademarked by the cities themselves but there are mutual benefits to find arrangements with cities.

Controlling earnings
Of course, one might wonder why - but WHY - would a trademark let a third party use its name to sell its product without controlling the message sent to customers. And why, it would let complete strangers do that, redistributing them an income (ie: The Universal Yellow Pages). Actually, it is what some Trademarks do with their affiliates: franchises for example. Operating a platform dedicated to selling an online service targeting cities allows to generate a turn over:
  • per city
  • per domain name operator
  • per region
  • per country
  • per continent
  • per product
Search Engines
Search engines all work the same way: some offer a great algorithm that they sometime sell to other search engines; some offer the exact same search field with a different message and philosophy but with less content indexed. In more simple words: they all look alike and it gets back to:
  • one front page with a search field;
  • a ".com" domain name.
Why not change this and offer one page per city to better identify content for a geographical location? Most search engines already do that but they don't say it and it is unclear. Some users don't even like that since they have not been informed about it. Some don't want their content to match with their geographical location. Isn't it time to innovate and offer an alternative to search on Internet, offering multiple points of entries with a meaning, instead of...just one...which has none?

Register your Trademark using an agent.