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New “.trademark” gTLD is Here

Few Brands have noticed it yet but a company has applied for a domain name extension which literally means “.trademark”. The company is based in Hong-Kong and its name is “Huyi Global .?? Domain Registry”. The “.??” is what we call an International Domain Name extension (IDN) and it means “.trademark” in Simplified Chinese. It is pronounced: “Shang Biao”.

Confusion around .TRADEMARK new gTLDs

In the first Round of the ICANN new gTLD program, many companies were offered to register their own domain name extension and (basically) the question asked to Trademark owners was: “would you like to register your “.trademark” for $185000?”

With domain names ending in “.??”, the question remains the same but the price to register such domain name has nothing to do with the thousands of Dollars needed to apply for a new domain name extension.

What are we talking about here?

Let’s use the example of the “Jovenet” Registered Trademark:

  1. Registering the Jovenet new gTLD as a Trademark would offer the possibility for its owner to become what we call “a Registry” and allow the registration of domain names ending in “.jovenet” (instead of, let’s say, “.com”). Thousands of domain names could then be created, all ending in the “.jovenet” domain name extension.
  2. Registering the “Jovenet” as a “.trademark” in Chinese would be exactly the same as registering a domain name in any known extension. In our case, it would mean that one single domain name would be registered: “jovenet.??”.

What does it mean for Trademarks?

Well, it is like asking a club what he thinks about the “.club” new domain name extension. In our case, we have a sign dedicated to the entire Intellectual Property community and a Trademark, no matter which country it is from, may be interested in securing its name in this extension to consider existing on a Chinese market.

As a resident of the city of Paris and frequently wasting my time in the ultra French Galeries Lafayette, I noticed that their strategists understood a long time ago that speaking to clients in their own language benefited everybody: clients and sellers. For this reason, there are Chinese signs all over the place to drive Chinese clients where they want to go.

The same principle applies here and it is typically what Trademarks like Rolex (www.???.??), Montagut (www.montagut.??) and Starbuck Corporation (www.???.??) have understood.

The good news

The good news for this Chinese domain name extension is that it is required to own a Trademark to register a “.??” domain name. Squatters with bad intentions… are not welcome to register.

What to expect next?

There is more and more talks of a second Round of the ICANN new gTLD program which will allow Trademarks and other Entrepreneurs to submit more domain name extension applications. Who will dare applying for a “.trademark” new gTLD in Latin alphabet? If you want to ask Huyi Global, you can ask them the question at INTA, booth 1841.

By Jean Guillon, New gTLDs "only".

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