Thursday, February 28, 2019

The.Best : three different channels

New owner of the .BEST Registry explains the 3 different channels of the .BEST new gTLD project.

Want to know what the 2 targets are for 2019? Watch the full video or keep a close eye to the  .BEST YouTube channel.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Houston? We lost .STAR

I am sure that the so many groups working to prepare the next round of the ICANN new gTLD program will have come with a solution for the problem after.

Applications' contacts
There are two contacts to list when submitting a new gTLD application:
  1. A primary contact;
  2. A secondary contact.
These two contacts are important; they are the two references for the entire new gTLD application. It can take time for an application to launch and many things can happen between the moment you submit your application to the ICANN and the moment the TLD is "live"; sometimes up to 10 years. In 10 years, it is not rare that the employee of a company changes job (inside or outside of the company). It is what's happened with this registry.

Knock Knock?
I found out about the .STAR new gTLD and contacted the operator:
  1. I fist went to This second level domain is reserved to registries and often introduces the TLD. Lucky me, there was a contact page with an email but writing to it, I received an error in return with a "We're writing to let you know that the group you tried to contact (xxx) may not exist, or you may not have permission to post messages to the group..." Strange, this is the email of a group and anyway...there is a problem with the email.
  2. I went to the new gTLD application and checked the primary contact and I found...a Gmail address, so I wrote to it. I doubled checked on LinkedIn and found that the contact - not only uses an email external to the company, but also...he left the company.
  3. I checked the secondary contact and sent the same email. Guess what: this is the answer I received from the server: "Your message wasn't delivered to xxx@xxx.combecause the address couldn't be found, or is unable to receive mail" (note that I changed the email for this publication). This is bad luck because none of the two most important contacts of the application can't be reached by email and the Gmail address could be used by...anyone.
  4. I finally went to the IANA website, which lists all registries and I found an email for the administrative contact to whom I wrote to (I'll come back on this if I receive an answer).
A security hole?
You can have the best tools and the best technique to achieve your goals, but it also happens that security problems are not necessarily technical ones but human ones: who knows if these emails were not used for something else as important as a $185,000.00 new gTLD application? Using an email on which the company has no control for such projects can cause serious security breaches.

New gTLD applications require an update
I already noticed that many applications are not up-to-date. For example, some have changed hands and the contacts are not the same anymore. It also appears that question 18/A ("Describe the mission/purpose of your proposed gTLD") does not reflect the mission of the gTLD anymore.
I believe that the ICANN should ask applicants to check their new gTLD application (and if possible, without asking them to pay for this) - to update question 18/A at least, but ensure that primary and secondary contacts...are the good ones.

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.

  • 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.

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 to read all publications:
  1. Here: and it's better if you use Chrome (since Internet Explorer bugs the page), or;
  2. Here: (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 (content is moderated):
  1. Object of the email is your Title
  2. Content of the email is the Content to be published.
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).

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 :-)

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.

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

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 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 becomes possible and has a strong SEO benefit. It also has an advantage in terms of branding: looks nicer than 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?

Monday, February 4, 2019

ACTO now has pressure on .AMAZON

The .AMAZON new gTLD never ending story now looks like it is taking another direction...and dimension.

I ended thinking that the ICANN CEO was in an a bad position - feeling insulted after past letters received from the ACTO - but apparently, by reading the latest recent exchanges, I feel like the ACTO now wants to discuss a better deal...where it resides, in Brasilia.

My first thought was that they wanted to end this application at all costs to protect the Amazon identity from becoming an online giant supermarket, instead of the earth's lung; but these two letters, shared on a 24 hours period of time, look to me like a desperate move from the ACTO to find a deal, instead of nothing.

What is it that you don't understand in "No"?
In a recent letter from the ICANN to the ACTO, ICANN CEO explains that "no", the status of the .AMAZON new gTLD won't change back to its previous one: "Will Not Proceed". The actual status was changed to "Evaluation Complete" which means that the application could see the day: something that the ACTO does not want to see happen to protect countries from the Amazon region...unless a good deal is found maybe?

In this letter dated 27 January 2019, the ICANN CEO explains why the status of the .AMAZON new gTLD could not be restored to "Will Not Proceed": a special board called the BAMC denied the ACTO request. This comes after a letter sent (from ACTO) in December to the ICANN Board where one can read such (rude) things like:
  1. "the firm rejection and deep disappointment of the eight Amazon countries at the inexplicable attitude of the ICANN Organization of ignoring the clear messages";
  2. "the ICANN President and CEO never reached out to the Amazon countries to follow up on that message";
  3. "the ICANN Organization never sent – let alone discussed with – the Amazon countries any proposal";
  4. "There were never discussions “with all the concerned parties” simply because there was never a facilitation process";
  5. "it was repeatedly and clearly indicated that no country had any mandate to negotiate on behalf of the other members of ACTO";
  6. "It is inconceivable and unacceptable that these clarifying questions by the Expert Working Group are now unfaithfully presented as anything other than clarifying questions for the work of the Expert Working Group";
  7. "Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela do not and will not bear, collectively or individually, any responsibility for the failure of the ICANN President and CEO to facilitate the development of a mutually acceptable solution for the .AMAZON applications";
  8. "the failure of the ICANN President and CEO to establish a facilitation process";
  9. "the outright failure to publish previous communications on this issue did not contribute to the building of trust among the parties".
Please, don't close the door
This letter, dated 28 January 2019 (the next day), looks like a final attempt from the ACTO to negotiate something better than Kindles to grant AMAZON the use of domain names ending in ".amazon".

My understanding of ICANN politics is that you should not insult the only authorized organization to say "yes" or "no" to a new gTLD project. That's the problem with monopolies: they decide about the rules, whoever you are, no matter if you preside a country or a region...but I am happy to predict that the ICANN is probably going to travel to Brasilia to find a better deal way for Amazon to use the .AMAZON new gTLD.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

The .DEV early access program starts February 19th

There are lots of domain choices these days, and now with .dev there's a space dedicated for developers. Because .dev is a brand new top-level domain, there are lots of great domains available.

Starting February 19th Google Domains will be offering early access to .dev domains. This means you can secure your .dev domain before general availability with a one-time early access fee. Create a calendar reminder to ensure you get your .dev domain before someone else does.

Learn more here.

Friday, February 1, 2019

The 2019 new gTLD reports

A new year is starting and here we go again: once a month we, shall  be updating new gTLD reports focusing on volumes of domain name registered per categories of TLDs. 20 categories are covered below and these are the first 20 reports of the year. "Roulements de tambours" for January 2019:
  1. NEW - New gTLDs related to POLITICS (.gop - .vote - .republican - .democrat - etc...);
  2. New gTLDs related to LUXURY (.rich - .yachts - .chanel - etc...);
  3. New gTLDs related to the MUSIC community (.music - .band - .hiphop - etc...);
  4. Multiple Registries : group of Registries operating five (5) and more domain name extensions;
  5. Singular VS Plural versions of a new gTLD : these are domain name extensions which exist in their singular and plural version (ie: .gift and .gifts);
  6. New gTLDs related to CATERING and CULINARY (.restaurant - .kitchen - .bar - etc...);
  7. New gTLDs related to PHOTOGRAPHY (.photo - .film - .gallery - etc...);
  8. New gTLDs related to CITIES : these are city names only (.paris - .london - .tokyo - etc...);
  9. New gTLDs related to COMPANIES : new domain name extensions that we believe a company should keep its eyes on;
  10. New gTLDs related to the LAW and LEGAL matters (.legal - .attorney - .lawyer - etc...);
  11. New gTLDs related to FINANCE (.credit - .capital - .finance - etc...);
  12. New gTLDs related to a COLOR (.orange - .pink - .green - etc...);
  13. New gTLDs related to SPORTS (.hockey - .basketball - .ski - etc...);
  14. New gTLDs related to ALCOHOL (.beer - .wine - .vodka - etc...);
  15. New gTLDs related to REAL ESTATE (.realestate - .realtor - .villas - etc...);
  16. FRENCH new gTLD applications : these are applications submitted by French companies only;
  17. New gTLDs related to RELIGION (.catholic - .bible - .church - etc...);
  18. New gTLDs related to CARS (.taxi - .auto - .car - etc...);
  19. New gTLDs related to HEALTH (.health - .doctor - .hospital - etc...);
  20. New gTLDs related to ADULTS (no comment).
Please contact us if you believe that an extension is missing in one of these categories.

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