.Sucks? How about .no?
The new gTLDs, or generic top level domains, have been in the news a lot lately. Taylor Swift made big news when she made a smart strategic move and purchased a number of domains related to her name and brand with the new gTLDs .adult, and .porn. While this initially may seem like a publicity stunt, it’s actually a smart move on her part to protect her brand, and one that brand owners need to take note of in terms of planning their domain strategy. With the rollout of the new gTLDs, there are more options for what a web address says to the right of the dot, and brand owners are concerned about the potential options that could make their brand look bad. This is particularly true in the case of .sucks, a domain that I have been monitoring for some time. Just last week, the IP Constituency of ICANN, the group that represents brand owners at the international body that governs the internet, sent a letter urging ICANN to stop the rollout of the .sucks domain.
So how can brand owners protect themselves in this new landscape of gTLDs? A good place to start is setting up a monitoring service to monitor your brands and alert you to marks and domains that may be similar to yours so that you can take appropriate actions. Another good step to take is to register your brands with the Trademark Clearinghouse, which will notify registered trademark holders of new gTLDs that may be using their marks, and offers them the chance to object to the registration of such domains. If nothing else, setting up a Google Alert can be a good, inexpensive way to monitor mentions of our mark and news stories related to the brand online. This space is likely to continue to generate interesting news stories, and I’ll do my best to cover them here. These services are also among those that Scelsi Entertainment and New Media Law offers, please visit our website for more information and to contact me.