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The .BEST Brand Protection (Interview)

Launching a social network based on a single domain name extension is seriously innovative, but such a concept also implies to give Trademarks a chance to protect themselves. I recently interviewed Cyril Fremont, the new operator of the .BEST Registry and also CEO of “THE.BEST Social Network” on his plan to allow Trademarks to protect their assets prior to the launching of the review network.

Jean Guillon: Hello Cyril, I was wondering how you were preparing for the Las Vegas introduction of your new social network at NamesCon and wondered if you had more information to share about the target of 100 Million potential reviewers advertised on Brands.best?

Cyril Fremont: 100 Million is a target but I see that’d you’ve dug to find about our program. We believe that offering anyone to review and be rewarded for this is a serious opportunity for anyone interested in generating an income from a domain name, and this is what the reviewers, using a “.best” domain name will be offered. Now, thinking twice, we considered that such an innovative offer could harm, or put at risks, other Internet users such as Trademarks, so our job is also to prevent this from happening.

JG: I understand that this is the role of Brands.best but doesn’t it look like some form of DPML?

CF: It is more simple than this since these offers require to be registered in the Trademark Clearinghouse: Brands.best does not.

JG: Correct, and there is no Sunrise or Landrush period since the .BEST new gTLD was launched already.

CF: In fact, our offer is a straightforward one: Brand owners can submit a list up to 1000 terms that contain their exact match trademark terms. Once terms are accepted, they are blocked from registration at all .BEST Registrars for an initial period of 5 or 10 years.

JG: During that period, what does it do exactly?

CF: A domain blocked by Best Protection is not functional, it means that it may not be used for a website URL, e-mail address or other types of domain-related functionality.

JG: What about after 5 or 10 years?

CF: The Best Protection then can be renewed in increments of one to ten years.

JG: Understood. I navigated through the website and fell on that sentence: Protect your brand against “yourproduct.Best”, what does it mean exactly?

CF: It means that users often hit “Best your product”, “Best price your product”, “Best your service” in search engines, where “product” or “service” are the name of a Trademark. Users assume that search engines will have information about the best of your business, but many fraudsters use Trademarks to divert traffic to illegitimate websites. For this reason, securing keywords on Brands.best allows Trademarks to block fraudsters from using the name of their product or service and lose sales to other fraudulent websites or fake products.

JG: I get it. I have one last question about my personal business: as a person involved in domain name innovation and also offering online brand protection solutions, is it a service that I could offer to my clients or does all this go through your website?

CF: We already have IP specialists resellers such as Corporate accredited Registrars interested in offering this solution to their clients. We won’t sell the protection ourselves since Trademarks are not our direct clients, Registrars are.

JG: A new tool for Corporate Registrars and Law Firms then but, for example, I secured jovenet.best and trademark.best: do you offer some kind of affiliate program that I could use my domain names with to offer potential visitors to secure their Trademarks on the .BEST registry, so I could generate an income from this?

CF: No, but we will consider the idea: do you mean some sort of form that you would put on your website where we would track registrations or some form hosted on our DNS where you would map your domain name to and we would track registrations?

JG: Yes, so users like me who sometimes park domains could find a use for them. Parking generates zero return on existing parking platforms so I’d rather promote a new service rather than offer an ugly parking page that generates a CPC close to zero.

CF: I doubt that we will do that as we want to focus on developing the Registry & the Social Network: “chacun son métier”.

JG: Any other new services coming in the future?

CF: Brand Satisfaction monitoring but let us first present THE.Best Social network and the Best Protection program at the Namescon on January 29.

By Jean Guillon, New gTLDs "only".

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