Toute l'actualité des noms de domaine et nouveaux gTLDs

Archives de mots clés: trademark

How to register for a .uk domain name, and avoid the squatters and hackers

The fast approaching rollout of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), like .uk and .london, has the potential be either a dream scenario or waking nightmare for organisations of all shapes and sizes.

This is because, on the one hand the move could let organisations tailor their online offering to a much more specific set of clients. For example, Groupon may like to take advantage of the .london domain to mount specific, targeted advertising campaigns or market more detailed region specific deals.

However to countermand this, there are also several potential pitfalls and logistical issues that could hamper businesses’ ability to take advantage of the new domain options. This hasn’t been helped by the fact many companies are still fairly confused about how exactly they can secure one or more of the new gTLDs, or move their existing sites across to one of the new domains.

How to register for a .uk domain
While the new .london domain will be available from 29 April, the .uk suffix will roll out a bit later on 10 June. The process of getting hold of a .uk or .london domain name is actually very simple. The process is identical to that seen registering any other .com or .co.uk domain, and simply requires a company to register their site with a web registrar. The new .uk domains will cost the same as their .co.uk equivalents, with Nominet charging £3.50 for a single year and £2.50 for multi-year registrations. Pricing for the .london addresses are yet to be confirmed.

Should you upgrade?
While .london and other new non-country gTLDs pose a whole different crop of questions – which V3 will be answering in an upcoming article later in March – the real question facing businesses regarding the .uk suffix is what are the benefits of upgrading their sites to the shorter country domain suffix as opposed to sticking with their current .co.uk or .com suffix. Nominet, the registry running the new .uk domains, claims the transition will offer serious benefits, reporting: « 81 percent of people prefer .uk domains when searching or buying online. »

While this may be true, some companies remain unconvinced and have expressed security concerns about the .uk rollout. One concern is that the wealth of new domains – Nominet alone offers .org.uk, .me.uk as well as .uk and .co.uk – could be used as a launch point for nefarious cyber attacks.

On paper there certainly is some evidence for this. Hackers often create schemes that aim to infect users’ machines with malware when they visit specific websites. The campaigns often attempt to increase their victim base by hosting the malware on sites that sound similar to popular legitimate ones.

Additionally, as noted by F-Secure security researcher, Sean Sullivan the rollout also increases the chance businesses could fall victim to Domain Name System (DNS) hijackings. « The .uk transition period could possibly provide an opportunity for clever social engineers (such as the Syrian Electronic Army) – but registrars should already be on the lookout for this, » he told V3.

DNS hijacking is a common tactic used by several hacker groups. It is designed to let hackers take control of a site and can be used for a variety of dangerous purposes.

Another key concern is that an abrupt move from .co.uk or .com to .uk or any of the other alternative domains could in theory lead to a traffic loss, which for sites reliant on vistor digital footfall or online advertising revenue, could be disastrous. An early transition to .uk could also be an issue for any business that uses its web URL for marketing purposes – like for example Comparethemarket.com or Lastminute.com – which have already spent vast sums increasing awareness of their existing brand.

These issues has been noticed by Nominet chief operating officer, Eleanor Bradley, who told V3: « Users will have to be really savvy going forward about what domain name they use. There are going to be so many available and it will be really important that people recognise it won’t just be about .co.uk and .com, it’s going to be about lots of other top level domains.

« The problem is, because there’s lots of choice, there is a danger of confusion. This means when making a website, businesses need to think about what they’re doing and where they’re going in the future more than before. »

Beware the squatters
In the past these risks would have been countermanded by the much more pressing threat posed by web domain squatters. Domain squatters are beasts similar to patent trolls that can cause businesses very serious headaches. They operate by buying domains which sound similar or could be confused with those of legitimate businesses, and then hold them ransom and demand vast sums of cash from any company interested in the rights to them.

Luckily, many registrars have taken steps to ensure this situation does not occur when the new gTLDs are rolled out. Bradley explained to V3: « If you have .co.uk you will have option to register the shorter domain name. You’ll have five years. We settled on five years as we didn’t want businesses to have to worry about being forced to move to the new domain. We wanted to let them tie it into a branding event or larger strategy. »

This is great as it means businesses have five years to get their ducks in order before pushing ahead with a move to .uk. As explained by Taylor Wessing partner, Jason Rawkins, during an interview with V3: « The main thing is to get people aware of the change which a lot currently aren’t. The five-year period is pretty sensible and means even if people miss it, they should be fine and won’t have to worry about cyber squatters. »

The only possible remaining issue is that there is potential for legal conflict when a well-known .co.uk domain or brand and a lesser known .org.uk site use the same name, for example flower.co.uk and flower.org.uk. However, as noted by Rawkins, this is fairly unlikely to occur.

« It won’t crop up because if you’re a brand with a .co.uk address you’ll already have rights to .uk, » he told V3. « From a practical point of view legal conflict is possible, but it would be very unusual. It could happen with generic or descriptive things, like flower, but it would be unlikely to occur with a trademark, like say Volkswagen. »

As a result, with all factors and concerns answered it seems businesses do not need to rush their move to .uk and should heed Bradley’s advice to take their time and really think about which domain is best for their business now and into the future.

Auteur: Alastair Stevenson

Source: v3.co.uk

Protect your company’s rights in the race to register new gTLDs

The eagerly anticipated unveiling of the list of generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) names (the letters to the right of the dot) was revealed in June by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Historically, only 22 general use-approved TLDs, including .com, .org, and .net, just to name a few, have existed across the web. In contrast, ICANN is now reviewing nearly 2,000 applications for new gTLD to add to this previously exclusive list. This pending expansion is the largest in the history of the Internet since its creation.

While ICANN is reviewing these applications, it is up to companies to make sure an applied-for gTLD is not identical or confusingly similar to their already existing trademarks, service marks or trade names. In addition, companies may want to determine whether any applications pose a competitive threat regardless of similarity. So even if a company did not submit an application, it should review this list (available at http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/program-status/application-results/strings-1200utc-13jun12-en)

Plenty of large companies applied to create new gTLDs that reflect their brands and related terms, like .apple or .panasonic. Small and midsize businesses could be impacted in major ways by the pending changes in that the proposed list includes potential new domains like .app (the subject of 13 separate applications, including one from Amazon), .blog (the subject of 9 separate applications, including one from Google), and .cloud (applied-for by Symantec, Amazon and Google).

A single company, Donuts.co, applied for 300 gTLDs, including .accountants, .agency, .architect, .beer, .data, .healthcare, .hotel, .photography and .restaurant, amounting to more than $56 million in application fees. Representative of Donuts.co state that they will make the gTLDs delegated to them available in the same way the .com, .net and other current TLD extensions are made available – via the network of ICANN-accredited registrars to anyone who wants to register them for a fee, the amount of which would be determined by Donuts.co.

An objection-filing period was built into the new gTLD Program as a way for a company to protect certain rights and interests. For example, if someone has applied for a brand or trademark, you can formally object to that application before a panel of qualified experts in the relevant subject area. The objection period for the new gTLDs ends January 13, 2013.

Any company may submit a formal objection if it falls under one of these categories:

  1. String Confusion — meaning that the applied-for gTLD string is confusingly similar to an existing TLD or to another applied-for gTLD string. If two confusingly similar TLDs are delegated this could cause user confusion.
  2. Legal Rights — the applied-for gTLD string violates the legal rights of the objector, such as existing trademark rights or dilution.
  3. Limited Public Interest — the applied-for gTLD string goes against generally accepted legal norms of morality and public order that are recognized under principles of international law.
  4. Community — there is substantial opposition to the gTLD application from a significant portion of the community that the gTLD string is targeting.

In mid-February of 2013, gTLD applicants will be notified of any filed objections and will have 30 days to respond. The process is similar to arbitration, with written submissions by the objector and applicant, as well as an in-person hearing. Fees for formal objection filed will be $10,000 for each party, though the good news for the prevailing party is that it will receive a refund of $8,000 of the filing fee.

Another protection that companies may utilize in the future will be the Trademark Clearinghouse, which is built into the new gTLD program. The Clearinghouse will accept and authenticate the rights of trademark holders in connection with the new gTLDs. ICANN plans to have the Trademark Clearinghouse up and running by late 2012 or early 2013. For trademark owners, the fee for initial authentication and validation services through the Trademark Clearinghouse is expected to be less than $150 per submission.

The Trademark Clearinghouse will be a central repository of trademark information that new gTLD registries can access through their systems. When a person or company attempts to register a second-level domain name (the wording to the left of the dot) in a new gTLD that matches a trademark in registered with the Clearinghouse, they will receive a warning that they may be cybersquatting. If the company proceeds with the domain name registration despite the warning, the brand owner will then be notified of the domain name registration.

The Trademark Clearinghouse is only meant to be a notification system, however, and trademark owners will have to use a domain name dispute resolution process such as a Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) proceeding or ICANN’s newly proposed Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) system to contest second-level domain names they feel infringe their trademark rights.

ICANN’s proposed URS system will offer trademark owners a quick and low-cost procedure to take down clearly infringing websites. The proposed URS system will differ from the existing UDRP system in several ways, such as:

  • If the trademark owner prevails in the URS proceeding, the domain name registration will be suspended instead of transferred or cancelled, and will point to a mandatory URS placeholder page for the remaining registration period. Upon expiration of the registration period, the domain name will be open for registration by the trademark owner or any third-party.
  • While the URS system will have a similar set of examination elements to the UDRP (i.e., evidence of bad faith registration and use of the trademark will be required), the trademark owner will have to prove infringement by clear and convincing evidence. Thus, only clear-cut cases of trademark infringement will lead to suspension.
  • Filing fees for initiating a URS proceeding are expected to be less than $500, while fees for initiating a UDRP start at $1,300 for a single member panel and $2,600 for a three member panel for 1-3 domain names.

For more information, visit www.icann.org.

Source: techworld.com.au

ICM Registry Closes Sunrise Period with 80,000 Applications for .XXX Domain Names

ICM Registry, the company behind the .XXX top-level domain (TLD) officially closed its Sunrise A and Sunrise B periods at Noon EST yesterday with more than 80,000 applications for domain names, it was announced by Stuart Lawley, CEO of ICM Registry.

The Sunrise Period, which was extended by three days to accommodate overwhelming demand, was designed to allow trademark and brand holders ample opportunity to apply for their corresponding .XXX domain names. During this time, 78,938 trademarked/pre-owned names were submitted, while 1,524 other names were allocated as part of The Founders Program.

“We couldn’t be happier about the success of the Sunrise period,” said Lawley. “There is always a risk with a new TLD that you may build it and nobody will come. We are thrilled that over 80,000 applications came!  In fact, the .XXX Sunrise period results far exceeds those of any other new sTLD, including .mobi, .asia and even that of .co that re-launched last year with a significant marketing campaign. We look forward with great anticipation to Landrush, opening next week and General Availability on December 6, which is when the fun really starts.”

Landrush, which opens on Tuesday, November 8th is a restricted 17-day period set aside for members of the adult Sponsored Community who want to secure premium .XXX domain names, guaranteeing them the chance to either buy them outright or to participate in a closed mini-auction where they can bid for them.  Unlike General Availability, Landrush is not administered on a first come, first served basis, thereby guaranteeing anyone applying for an available domain name the chance to obtain it. At the end of the Landrush period, domain names with only one application will be simply awarded, while those with two or more applications will proceed to a closed mini-auction between the respective applicants.

source ICMRegistry