Donuts Launches Domains Protected Marks List

BELLEVUE, Wash., Sept. 25, 2013,/PRNewswire/ — Donuts Inc., a registry for new generic top-level domain names (gTLDs), such as [.BUSINESS], [.EMAIL] and [.SERVICES] has launched the Domains Protected Marks List (DPML), a groundbreaking mechanism allowing trademark holders to protect terms in all Donuts-managed gTLDs at a fraction of the cost of “defensive” domain name registrations.

The service is now live and available for subscription through participating domain name registrars accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

DPML works by “blocking” trademark-related terms from registration at the second level (the characters before the dot).  A DPML term is blocked from registration in all Donuts TLDs for an initial subscription of a minimum five and maximum ten-year term. Subscriptions can be renewed thereafter for one to ten-year terms.

“For the more than eight years spent developing the new gTLD program, trademark rights protection has been critical to the advancement of gTLD expansion,” said Donuts COO and co-founder Richard Tindal.  “Marks holders are concerned about the potential abuse of their brand names. DPML and the other mechanisms we’ve elected to provide ensure brands are even more extensively protected now than they ever have been and at low cost.”

DPML Features and Requirements

  • A trademark holder must first register a mark with the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH), ICANN’s centralized trademark database.  The mark must be registered according to the “use” standard.
  • Brand owners may then submit an exact match of a mark or a term that contains an exact match, to DPML.  Once verified with a validated TMCH entry, that term can be blocked in Donuts gTLDs.
  • A domain name blocked by DPML is not functional, meaning it may not be used for a website URL, e-mail address or other domain name-related functions.
  • Retail pricing for DPML subscriptions is at the discretion of the registrar.
  • Certain restrictions apply to premium names, three-character names, and other various applications of the service.

Brand specialists welcome DPML
Domain name registrars that largely serve brand and trademark-focused clients have applauded the Donuts system as a welcome advancement.

“Companies have legitimate concerns about protecting their brands in the new gTLD environment and have been asking for this type of protection,” said Elisa Cooper, Director of Product Marketing at MarkMonitor, part of Thomson Reuters.  “The Donuts DPML service provides a cost-effective alternative to defensively registering domains and we feel this is an important option for our clients.”

DPML is keenly anticipated by European registrars as well.  “This is a service of real value to our clients,” said Markus Eggensperger, a founder of united-domains AG of Germany.  “Donuts has carefully taken into account brand protection needs and provided a thoughtful and effective service to brand owners.”

Donuts gTLD schedule
According to ICANN’s schedule for evaluation and delegation of new gTLDs, Donuts expects its first gTLDs to become available later this year.  Because DPML subscriptions don’t block domain registrations made prior to that subscription, brand owners should consider subscribing prior to the launch of the first Donuts gTLD.

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