CSC Digital Brand ServicesAs the pace and progress of news continues to pick up on new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), Christine Willett, V.P. gTLD Operations at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) published a blog post indicating that internationalized domain name extensions (IDNs) are now awaiting to go-live in the domain name space.

The first new gTLDs are:

  • شبكة (xn--ngbc5azd) – the Arabic word for “Web” or “Network”
  • онлайн (xn--80asehdb) – Russian for “Online”
  • сайт (xn--80aswg) – Russian for “Web site”
  • 游戏 (xn--unup4y) – Chinese for “Game”

Once these IDN TLDs are delegated, which has taken two weeks in the past, the registries will then submit their TLD startup information to ICANN electing for what is most likely going to be what is referred to now as an end-date sunrise period.  Instead of providing a 30-day sunrise notice to trademark owners, registries that opt for an end-date sunrise choose the shortest path to commencing sunrise by (a) removing the 30-day notice period (b) electing to run sunrise for a minimum of 60 days, and (c) agreeing to only allocate domains including contention sets at the end of the sunrise period.

ICANN had originally expected to delegate the first new gTLD at the end of September, only to push the projected date back to an unannounced time.

New gTLD registries appear to be impatient with the pace of developments coming out of ICANN and are beginning to share “projected launch dates” with registrars, like CSC, to see if they can generate enough momentum to break the dam.  As expected, yesterday’s blog post confirmed that ICANN is committed to seeing through the launch of new gTLDs.

With the date of the first new gTLD launch only weeks away, CSC strongly recommends that trademark owners:

  • File their TMCH registrations immediately (NOTE: it will take at least 21 days for the TMCH validation process to be completed);
  • Get up to speed on registry specific Rights Protection Mechanisms, such as the Donuts Domain Protected Marks List Program, to minimize defensive registrations;
  • Determine brand-specific and premium generic second-level domain names to register across relevant new gTLDs  (NOTE: it is likely we will see 20-30 launches per month so one by one strategic evaluation of each gTLD as they come up for launch will not be possible);  and
  • Identify monitoring solutions to police the rapidly evolving namespace for detrimental infringement to your brands and trademarks.

CSC will continue to monitor the new gTLD registries closely and make sure you get the facts on these launches (minus the hype and speculation) and will inform you once dates are firm via this blog and our soon-to-be-launched, client-only resource center, The Brand Circle.

In the meantime, CSC is ready and able to assist you with the above-listed important preparations.  For immediate assistance contact your CSC Client Service Partner or Strategic Account Manager.  If you are not a CSC client, please click here for a free consultation.

Lastly, we invite all interested parties to join us for our upcoming web seminar on October 24, The Best Offense is a Good Defense, featuring CSC New gTLD Launch expert, Tommy Ho, and Matt Bamonte from Donuts, to learn more about the impending new gTLD launches and strategies to protect your brands during this rapid expansion of the namespace.

IDNs get the green light for delegation
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