ICANN budget proposal shows new TLDs weaker than expected

As registrars predicted, 2015 forecast was too rosy.

ICANN released its 2016 draft FY16 Operating Plan & Budget for the fiscal year beginning this July, and it shows weaker-than-expected new top level domain name results in the current year.

The group expects just $14.1 million in revenue from new TLDs for FY 2015 (which ends in June). That’s well below the budgeted $19.8 million. That $19.8 million number itself was a shadow of its original proposed forecast after ICANN slashed the number of new TLD registrations it expected. Click here to continue reading…

Trademark King still wants to TM famous marks and brands

Company submits specimens for many of its dubious trademark applications.


Proof of use for a domain name owned by another person?

The company that spent about $50,000 trying to trademark what are mostly famous brands, trademarks and common phrases is still pushing on after receiving initial refusals from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Indiana company Trademark King Inc filed over 150 trademark applications around Thanksgiving last year. The applications include a lot of famous brands (e.g. NCAA Final Four, Google.com), famous people (e.g. Elton John, Warren Buffet) and commerce terms (e.g. Labor Day Sale, Black Friday Deals).

All of the applications I checked when filed did not include the required specimen showing use in commerce. Click here to continue reading…

MarkMonitor: we won’t profit on .Sucks

Company will charge modest service fee on “Extortion domain”.

Brand protection domain name registrar MarkMonitor says it understands its clients will feel compelled to pay for a .sucks domain name, but it won’t profit from the registrations.

The company says it will charge just $25 above wholesale for the domain names. The registry has set a suggested retail price of $2,499 for a .sucks sunrise registration. Even without charging a mark-up, brand holders should expect to pay well over $1,000 for a sunrise domain name registration.

.Sucks has a business model that, well, sucks. Click here to continue reading…

Donuts challenges ICANN’s .Doctor decision

Stethoscope may be required to register a .Doctor domain name.

Donuts has filed a reconsideration request after ICANN decided to slam the door on who can register a domain name under the .doctor top level domain name.

Last month, ICANN’s New gTLD Program Committee determined that .Doctor should be a namespace restricted only to “legitimate medical practitioners”.

This eliminates a number of possible uses of the .doctor domain name. For example, brands like Rug Doctor and Lawn Doctor wouldn’t be able to register the domains. Neither would any of the millions of people who have doctorate degrees not in medicine. And I couldn’t register a clever domain like stolendomain.doctor.

In a post on CircleID, Donuts co-founder Jon Nevett says that ICANN has “quarantined” .doctor with an arbitrary restriction not applied to other top level domains that have GAC advice.

The reconsideration request is published online here.

Donuts is one of three applicants for .doctor. The others are Radix and The Medical Registry Limited.

Wall Street Journal covers domain name theft

Article shines light on growing problem for businesses.

Domain name theft is getting mainstream exposure today thanks to a Wall Street Journal article.

The article focuses on the recent theft of ShadesDaddy.com, but also discusses other companies that have fallen victim to domain name theft. It also quotes the ICA’s Phil Corwin and attorneys Enrico Schaefer of Traverse Legal and David Weslow of Wiley Rein.

It also refers to domainers, but describes them in a much better light than the typical article about domain name investors. It calls domainers “entrepreneurs who snap up particular domain names with plans to resell them”.

Domain theft is a growing problem. In ShadesDaddy.com’s case, the company filed a lawsuit and put lots of pressure on the registry to get the domain name back. It was returned within a couple weeks.

It got the domain returned much faster than a lot of people. An Austin man recently had a domain name stolen and it was transferred to Chinese domain name registrar eName (the same registrar that ended up with ShadesDaddy.com after it was stolen) and found the process of getting it back to take months. The registrar where he previously had the domain name didn’t have a good internal process for handling domain theft. (I won’t name the registrar, because an employee there stepped up to help when I reached out.)

On this week’sDomainSherpa Discussion, we talk about ways you can prevent domain name theft.