Thursday, February 27, 2014

Who Are the Major New gTLD Applicants and… (Part 4: Donuts)

...what is their approach to bringing new domain names to market?

Donuts is an applicant that threw the entire domain name industry into uproar due to the number of applications it submitted: 307 in total. Recent figures about Donuts are available here.

It is hardly surprising that whenever new gTLDs are mentioned in the media that Donuts are mentioned alongside due to shear number of applications that they have submitted. There are dozens of articles in the media mixing information and opinions about Donuts. Often, they address the benefits to those registrants who are excited about the possibility of acquiring a new domain name and the threats to those who have an existing .COM domain name portfolio.

Read the end of my article on CircleId.

Monday, February 24, 2014

A milestone is reached: you are now 1500 to follow new gTLDs on LinkedIn

Arno Vis is the CEO of Openprovider, one of the largest ICANN accredited domain registrars in the Netherlands.
Arno became subscriber n°1500 to the new generic Top-Level Domains group today. And...did I forget to mention that Openprovider has a special section dedicated to new gTLDs ?

Some would say that 1500 subscribers is not so much ... but it is the largest group worldwide dedicated to sending info and sharing knowledge about new gTLDs. The group is for professionals and non-professionals interested in new gTLDs, for english and non-english speakers.

You are welcome to join: (subscription and posting is free).

Lancement du .VOYAGE le 26 février 2014 à 17 heures

Le .VOYAGE sera lancé prochainement. A savoir:
  1. Lancement officiel : 26/02 à 17h
  2. Prix : 29,99 € HT/an
  3. Enregistrement sur le portail de domaines 1&1
  4. Une fois le domaine enregistré, le nouveau titulaire peut le relier à son site Web en quelques clics
L’information du lancement du .VOYAGE sera relayée sur Facebook, Twitter, Google + et LinkedIn dès le mercredi, avec des témoignages d'utilisateurs.

Pour enregistrer un .VOYAGE, cliquez ici.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

.SCIENCE - Andy Churley, CMO, Famous Four Media

Saturday, February 22, 2014

How to unlock a name blocked by ICANN

How to take out a name listed in the famous list of blocked domains, also named the the "SLD".

A pretty impressive answer given by Rubens Kuhl in post 6 of this discussion on LinkedIn: :

"ICANN said it will publish the framework for comments next week. Considering 42 days of public comment, 14 days to make those into recommendation, 14 days for them to be approved, and then 120 days of controlled interruption process implies 190 days from next week, or somewhere in the end of August."

Thank you Rubens.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Who Are the Major New gTLD Applicants? Part 3 : M+M

Minds + Machines was the first “new gTLD portfolio applicant” I spotted early in 2008, when .PARIS started being mentioned. Then came a few other projects like .HORSE and later .VODKA. Being French, my vision of good new gTLD suffixes may be slightly different to those native English speakers. Therefore, I favour some TLDs such as .SURF and .ART over some clearly English terms others such as .HORSE. I like .BLOG, .HOTEL and .RESTAURANT too and I like the idea of niche markets with .YOGA...another TLD which could be marketed in French too. In 2008, I remember starting to follow the CEO of Minds + Machines, Anthony Van Couvering’s communications in the online press and I remember that he used to focus on one word: the opportunity for new gTLDs to bring innovation to the domain name sphere.

Read my article on CircleId.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

.VIN : « Nos AOC ne sont pas à vendre ! »

L’actualité sur la gouvernance mondiale de l’Internet sera particulièrement chargée cette semaine avec la rencontre à Paris mercredi 19 février entre Angela MERKEL et François HOLLANDE ainsi que la visite le vendredi 21 février à Paris de Fadi CHEHADE, président de l’ICANN. A cette occasion, le secteur du vin à travers la CNAOC a décidé d’interpeller les pouvoirs publics ainsi que les élus sur les dossiers « .vin » et « .wine ». Les producteurs de vins demandent aux pouvoirs publics de faire preuve de fermeté et d’envoyer un signal fort au président de l’ICANN. La question de la protection des appellations d’origine et des indications géographiques et plus largement celle du respect de la propriété intellectuelle est en effet posée à l’occasion de l’ouverture des noms de domaine sur Internet.

L’ouverture des noms de domaine décidée par l’ICANN soulève de nombreuses questions. Le secteur du vin à travers la CNAOC et sa fédération européenne EFOW (European Federation of Origin Wines) sont mobilisées depuis plusieurs mois et s’opposent à la délégation des « .vin » et « .wine ». En effet les sociétés candidates à l’exploitation de ces nouveaux noms de domaine ont annoncé leur intention de vendre aux enchères les noms de domaine de second niveau. Ainsi les noms de domaine comprenant les noms des AOC (ex;, etc.) pourraient être vendus aux plus offrants n’importe où à travers le monde. Les risques sont bien identifiés : tromperie du consommateur (vente de produits sans aucun lien avec l’appellation concernée), développement de la contrefaçon, cybersquatting et spéculation. Grâce aux actions engagées par la France et la Commission Européenne, l’ICANN n’a pas pris de décision pour l’instant. Cependant la pression exercée par certains gouvernements sur l’ICANN est de plus en plus forte. D’un côté les USA défendent un Internet libre et la délégation des « .vin » et « .wine » sans condition, de l’autre l’Union Européenne demande à l’ICANN de ne pas déléguer ces noms de domaine tant que des mesures de protection des AOC ne seront pas prévues. Il appartient maintenant aux dirigeants de l’ICANN de prendre une décision.

La CNAOC et sa fédération européenne EFOW profitent du déplacement à Paris le 21 février prochain du président de l’ICANN pour demander au gouvernement et au Parlement d’envoyer un signal fort à l’Institution en charge de la gestion d’Internet. « Le débat qui se pose avec les dossiers « .vin » et « .wine » est plus large que le débat sur la protection des indications géographiques et de la propriété intellectuelle. C’est un débat de société. C’est le débat de savoir quel internet nous voulons demain. Un internet respectueux des traditions et savoir-faire mais surtout des règles. Et un internet dont la gestion et le contrôle doivent être confiées à une autorité indépendante. Ou un internet où presque tout est permis et les seules règles décidées par quelques personnes ? Notre choix est fait et nous attendons de la France qu’elle fasse entendre la voix de notre secteur et plus largement de beaucoup de nos concitoyens » déclare Bernard FARGES, président de la CNAOC.

CentralNic Signs Agreement with Domain Venture Partners

CentralNic plc (AIM:CNIC), the internet platform business which derives revenues from the worldwide sale of internet domain names, today announces that it has signed an agreement (“agreement”) with Domain Venture Partners’ new investment fund, DVP II, whereby the Company has been selected to be the registry service provider for certain registries acquired by DVP II; meaning that CentralNic’s platform will be used to enable their domain names to be purchased through domain name retailers (“registrars”) worldwide.

Domain Venture Partners (“DVP”) recently launched DVP II as an investment fund, with a target size of US$400 million, to acquire Top-Level Domain registries, some of which are already live.

DVP (through DVP I) invested in 60 companies which applied for licenses to operate generic TLD registries, and has become one of the largest registry operator groups.

Commenting on the agreement between CentralNic and DVP II, Ben Crawford, CEO of CentralNic said: “This presents a fantastic new opportunity for CentralNic, and we are delighted to be working with the market leading professionals within the banking, legal and technology fields that support DVP II. This agreement not only fits well with our stated strategy to increase the inventory of Top-Level Domains carried by our platform, but also confirms CentralNic’s position as market leader in providing registry services. In addition to the potential to accelerate top-line and bottom-line growth for CentralNic, our experience and expertise in promoting registries will complement Domain Venture Partners’ already formidable Sales and Marketing capability. We look forward to working with the team at DVP II as both companies seek to expand our presence in the market.”

“CentralNic is an organisation that shares our passion to develop and transform the global domain name market place”, said Charles Melvin, Chief Operating Officer at Domain Venture Partners. “We are delighted to welcome CentralNic as a preferred technology back-end provider. We have been impressed by CentralNic’s experience in operating successful registry back-end services as well as its proven ability to market and help distribute domain names in a strategic and creative manner.”

For further information:

CentralNic Group plc
Ben Crawford (CEO) +44 (0) 203 388 0600

Domain Venture Partners
Charles Melvin (COO) +350 216 50000

Zeus Capital
Ross Andrews / Nick Cowles ( Corporate Finance) +44 (0) 161 831 1512
John Goold (Institutional Sales) +44 (0) 207 533 7716

Abchurch Communications
Joanne Shears / Olivia Stuart Taylor +44 (0) 20 7398 7709

Monday, February 17, 2014

Acquire an existing new gTLD application is still possible

Ceci est un clin d'oeil aux potentiels intéressés par la candidature .VIN

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Conference: join Asian brands, new TLD operators, Senior IP & Legal counsel

WHEN : May 14-15, 2014 at the Regus / Hong-Kong.

The Asia Pac Digital Marketing & gTLD Strategy Congress will be held in Hong Kong and timed to take place in conjunction with the International Trademark Associations’ (INTA) 136 Annual Conference at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) starting on May 10.

Download the brochure for the Asia Pac Digital Marketing & gTLD Strategy Congress.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Launching new platform and recruiting authors - Jean Guillon

Publishing on this new website will be free.

Find below what my request is for new authors who wish to publisher here and what I offer in return.

What authors get:

  1. Your article will be posted by myself in the "New generic Top-Level Domains (new gTLDs)" group on LinkedIn (journalists, applicants, law firms, registrars, back-end registries, IP departments, domain name portfolio managers, registrants, etc). The link to your article will be seen by its 1500+ subscribers. I receive a lot of content everyday and now need to select what is published and what is not: writing here is a guarantee to increase your visibility to the new gTLD community.
    The group :
  2. The link to your article will be posted on, sent in its Newsletter and also made available in its Newsfeed.
  3. Your article will be:
    1. Twitted by Jean Guillon;
    2. Posted  in Viadeo (when written in French);
    3. Posted in Google+
  4. Your article will be announced on my personal blog, on
  5. Your logo (240x50 px in .PNGand hyperlink to your website will be added on the frontpage of this website until I create a dedicated page for this kind of promotion.

What I request for posting here:

  1. Your content must be about new gTLDs (please avoid bad auto-promo);
  2. One post/article per month;
  3. 400 words minimum;
  4. Exclusivity on your article during the first week of publication (5 days). It means you should wait for five days before you post it somewhere else on Internet. I will check prior to authorizing a publication;
  5. Play the game :-)

What you can post here:

  • Announcement of a new gTLD project (ie : in round 2);
  • Any announcement a new gTLD service provider plans to post on his website (please respect the 5 days delays);
  • Announcements for new platforms, service providers, law firms, TMCH agents and their specificity, etc...
  • Articles about new gTLDs written by law firms prior to posting them on their website;
  • Good new gTLD content;
  • That Press Releases you submit your PR service provider to and who, in return for your payment will have it read by gentlemen gardeners (...)

What you can't post here:

  • "I sell my .WHATEVER domain names".

What to do now?

To become an author, contact me with your request and what you plan to write about. I will send you an invitation to become a new "author". For this, you will need to register on (if you are already registered in Worpress, you will just need to accept my invitation to become an author on this website).

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

.WINE and .VIN : views of the European Commission regarding proposals for additional safeguards for GIs

Letter sent from the EUROPEAN COMMISSION to Dr. Stephen D. Crocker Chairman of the Board (ICANN)

The European Union (EU), its Member States, Switzerland and Norway, would like to share their views on the current state of play regarding the delegation of .Vin and .wine.

Following the deliberations at the Buenos Aires meeting, a large group of GAC members from different regions agreed to advise the ICANN Board accordingly. Only three countries explicitly expressed opposition against this stand, in favor of the delegation of the new gTLDs under the current conditions. The rest of the GAC remained neutral.

Furthermore, it is worth stressing again that during the Beijing Meeting there was a consensus to put on hold the delegation of .wine and .vin (see Beijing GAC Communiqué) contrary to many strings which were listed under safeguards l and 2 sections of the Communiqué. According to the position collectively expressed in the Beijing GAC Communiqué, the EU, its Member States, Switzerland and Norway still believe that these general safeguards are not sufficient and that the Beijing consensus was overruled inappropriately when the Chair advised the Board to proceed with the delegation of the wine gTLDs instead of presenting the different views on the matter and the fact that no consensus was reached. As you know, this opinion has been highlighted at a number of occasions to the GAC and to the Board (letters to the GAC of 29th July and 19th September and letters to the Board of 12th September and November 2013). I attach for your convenience the letter of 29th July which sums up the viewpoint of EU Member States and EU right holders, its legal background as well as a set of proposals to carve out a way forward to the delegation of .vin and .Wine­

As a major Wine producer, the EU is committed to ensure that a high-level of protection of Geographical Indications (GIS), as well as compliance with relevant, international, regional and national legislation is being strictly applied by all businesses dealing with wine. However, they have been prey to abuse in the Domain Name System (DNS) for years. Already, back in 2001, the Second WIPO Internet Domain Name Process report reflected the amount of EU wine GIs registered by companies or individuals outside the EU without there being any relationship between the domain name registrant and the geographical area to which the identifiers refer (annexes VIII, IX, X and XI). The report asserted the abuse as an undeniable fact and claimed that these practices are misleading and harm, first, the integrity of the naming system in which those geographical identifiers operate, and secondly, the credibility and reliability of the DNS (paragraph 238).

Cybersquatting and other forms of abuse have a significant negative effect on the wine producing sector, mainly SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and family business, rooted in rural areas that lack the resources and financial means to get to identify and address misappropriations that can affect them and to battle to defend the reputation of their products in the appropriate courts.

We need to remind you that there are international instruments (the Paris Convention; the Madrid Agreement; the Lisbon Agreement; the TRIPS Agreement, with 159 signatories and bilateral treaties), apart from national laws on the matter, which ought to be respected by ICANN according to its founding documents (Article 4 of its Articles of Incorporation).

A11 GAC members agree that geographical indications deserve adequate protection against misuse in the DNS (e. g.: Buenos Aires GAC Communiqué), a belief that is based on the assumption that they are recognized by law. But, the understanding of GIs and the degree of implementation of intematìonal conventions differ among members. Hence, a limited number of GAC members consider general safeguards for new gTLDs enough and we, along with other countries in the world, dissent.

Given the lack of common ground on GIs across different jurisdictions, and the possibility that the registry of .vin and .Wine might be a corporation under a national regulatory regime which does not guarantee sufficient protection for GIS, the general safeguards fall short in granting effective protection to GI right holders. Safeguards 2, 5 and 6 refer to applicable law, which is generally construed to be the law of the country of establishment of the service provider.

Having been able to agree on a series of other complex and legally challenging issues in the GAC (eg: protection of lGOs names and acronyms, of places Within countries, of professional services, or strings with a high risk of cyberbullying...), we have not yet agreed a definite and consensual advice on the gTLDs .vin and .wine. The legal and political study recommended by the GAC in the Buenos Aires Communique can maybe enlighten you on the high sensitivity and economic value of the matter, but the fact remains that the current decision making procedure at GAC does not allow us to conclude on the matter.

This is why we encouraged interested parties to negotiate the terms of protection of GIs under those gTLDs with a view to inserting them in the prospective registry contracts. It has done so with the protection afforded to country names and ISO codes related to country names and to a certain extent, with the names of the International Olympic Committee and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement through the Applicant Guidebook. It could follow suit with GIS, with even more legal reasons to do this.

At this point, it would be pertinent to comment on the letter the Australian Government sent to you setting out its position on .vin and .wine It is certainly true that the legal framework for GIs was developed for trade in goods, but international legislation, notably the TRIPS agreement, forbids any use of the GI in the presentation of a good that indicates or suggests that the good in question originates in a geographical area other than the true place of origin or any other use that constitutes an act of unfair competition. That is not restricted to bottle labels or adverts, and certainly encompasses the use of GIs under an unmistakably specific TLD such as .vin or .wine.

The abovementioned letter also claims that GIs are protected territory by territory and that there is no consensus on their intemational protection. A11 the foregoing discredits that statement. Furthermore, affording GIs adequate safeguards against a proven and high risk of abuse of their reputation in .vin and .Wine does not entail any renegotiation of TRIPS or other international agreements, but applying its provisions to the assignment and use of domain names. In this regard, we are of the opinion that principles of protection of GIs translate into the on-line world. Otherwise, there would be a huge void as regards any activity carried on on-line since all the treaties negotiated before the Internet era or that do not include specific rules for the Internet would not be applicable.

Once more, we wish to assure the ICANN Board. that European countries (EU, Switzerland and Norway) present in the GAC give a very high priority to these Consultations under the multi-stakeholder approach defined by ICANN, paying due regard to national law and the rights of legitimate title holders in the sphere of geographical indications. We believe that pursuing enhanced dialogue between interested parties is the way to find a prompt and adequate solution for the delegation of .vin and wine.

Therefore, the EU recommends putting the delegation of these new gTLDs on hold until the foregoing bilateral negotiations between GI right holders and applicants reach a successful outcome.

In the event these such necessary negotiations are effectively undermined of prevented for any reason, we would conclude that the Board has no option other than to reject the applications because the harm their operation as TLDs may cause to wine GI right holders, producers and consumers worldwide. Those strings could be applied for when the international talks on the furtherance of Part H, Section 3 of the TRIPS Agreement render more positive results.

A copy of this letter is sent in parallel to the Australian GAC delegation.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Who Are the Major New gTLD Applicants? Part 2 : Uniregistry

"Simple you said"? This is the approach FFM and Uniregistry have in common. A potential Registrant must go to his Registrar, follow a Sunrise Period process if he needs it, and with a few clicks, buy it at the right price. Then, the job is done! The new and mandatory Trademark Clearinghouse registration process is a good (and very expensive) idea but it adds many steps to registering a domain name: if the number of Sunrise registrations is so low...there is a reason for this. One recent news: Uniregistry will be launching its own Registrar soon. Surprisingly, is registered to… Uniregistry.

Read the article on CircleId.


Some people don't answer emails I send them, and actually, it is how business works. I don't send so many by the way but I receive a lot of very positive feed-back about the news I publish on new gTLDs.

Some nice "new gTLD guy" wrote that to me yesterday:

"I think it’s really cool how passionate you are about the space and how you’ve built this career for yourself as a journalist. You’re doing it exactly the way I started when I couldn’t find the best spot to fit in with another company, I decided to make my own job and it was the best decision I ever made."

I am no journalist, journalists follow strict rules, I don't.
I don't write so much but maybe that is why so many people read me.

I pretty much appreciate these comments.

Thank you.

Monday, February 3, 2014

.WINE and .VIN : views of the US Government regarding proposals for additional safeguards for GIs

Letter sent from the UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE to Dr. Stephen D. Crocker Chairman of the Board (ICANN)

I am Writing to ensure that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Board is fully informed of the views of the United States Government regarding proposals for additional safeguards for geographical indications in the .Wine and .Vin new gTLD applications, consistent with the Government Advisory Committee (GAC) Buenos Aires Communique. The U.S. position, which has been shared with the membership of the GAC during all of its deliberations on this matter during 2013, is that the existing safeguards developed by the GAC and accepted by the ICANN Board provide sufficient protections to mitigate against possible abuses in domain name registrations at the second level in .Wine and .Vin.

The matter special protections for geographical indications in the domain name system (DNS) has been debated for years, starting with the 2001 World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) 2 Internet Domain Name Process. No consensus was reached then, or in the intervening years. Even beyond the DNS, there is no international consensus on the protection of geographical indications more generally, both among members of WIPO or the World Trade Organization (WTO). In other Words, there is no existing international understanding on several key aspects of protection for geographical indications, including the scope of that protection or the territoriality of geographical indications. In the absence of international consensus on this issue, which is rooted in the existence of different legal regimes applicable to geographical indications, it would be ill advised for ICANN to attempt to define bad faith behavior related to the use of geographical indications in the DNS when the Wor1d’s experts have been unable to do so for years.

Yet some governments have proposed that a select group of market participants, and potentially ICANN, agree to detine bad faith very specifically: by instituting a presumption of bad faith where one country's geographical indication is registered as a domain name by another country’s nationals. If ICANN were to approve this proposed approach as an additional safeguard, it would be putting itself in the position of creating new international precedent that would be inconsistent with many national legal regimes.

For these reasons, the U.S. supports the delegation of the new gTLD applications for .wine and .vin without additional safeguards or negotiations, beyond the safeguards previously adopted by the ICANN Board.

Sincerely, Lawrence E. Strickling.

Who Are the Major New gTLD Applicants and what is their approach to bringing new domain names to market?

This article is the personal analysis by a new gTLD consultant who has been following the ICANN new gTLD program from the beginning but with a French man's perspective.

I recently read an article which made me smile because entitled "the top 10 new gTLDs to follow in 2014". But according to what? I partially read it to find out that it was written by a professional from a certain culture and written for a certain culture. None of the top 10 new gTLDs listed in the article were of any interest to me: a French person.

Read the complete article on CircleId.

New TLD Owners: Three Leading Brand Agencies To Offer Exclusive Insights on Connecting with Your Market

Building brand buzz at the point of launch is one of the most important elements to avoid being lost in the crowd and losing momentum as you compete with hundreds of new .Brands and .Generics coming online. Capture the attention of your audience and give the investment in your TLD the best chance of success by ensuring that your brand’s “voice” is heard.

Attendees at the forthcoming Digital Marketing & gTLD Strategy Congress this March in NY, have the opportunity to gain high level practical insights that will help them move their TLD from strategy to reality. Uncover the strategies that the worlds’ leading brands use to capture market share.

Discover The Secrets to Consumer Engagement Post-gTLD with James Anstey, SVP, Digital H+K Digital

Learn How a TLD can Effectively Build an Integrated Social Media Strategy and Connect With Customers with Gemma Craven, Executive Director, Head of Social Customer Engagement, OgilvyOne Worldwide and Ensure Your TLD’s Digital Identity Matches Your Users Brand Experience with Paul Dyer, Chief Commercial Officer, W20 Group

Find out more and register today at

.BRAND new gTLD Reports are updated once a month: CLICK HERE !