Most of Donuts domain names received at least 100 sunrise registrations, and some of them are of questionable merit.
Donuts has just published its zone files for the seven domain names that recently exited sunrise. Most of the domains have at least 100 domains in their zone files, but there’s also some curious activity: it appears Donuts got gamed by some of its fellow applicants.
First, some caveats. The zone files, dated 1-31, are post sunrise and include a lot of domain names registered through sunrise. They also include domains registered on the first day of the “Early Access Program.” However, it’s possible some domains were registered but aren’t in the zone files. (An example is wordpress.guru, which was registered in sunrise but doesn’t have nameservers.) The zone files also don’t include domains that were ordered but on the name collision block list, nor do they include domains blocked through the Domain Protected Marks List. It’s also early on, so there could be some quirks.
In other words, these numbers should be viewed as the lower bounds for the actual number of registrations.
Of the 7 domain names (.bike, clothing, .guru, .holdings, .plumbing, .singles, .ventures), four of them show between 100-200 domain names.
Two of the domain names show fewer than 100 domains, while one has over 500. Care to guess?
Answer: .plumbing and .singles are below 100. On the upside, many brands were adamant about protecting their marks in .clothing.
I suspect the numbers will increase in later sunrises as more people become aware of new TLDs and the intellectual property rights protection options.
Some brands are apparently going to register their brand in every extension. Why TD Ameritrade chose to register TDAmeritrade.plumbing instead of just get it with the Domain Protected Marks List is beyond me.
Although I didn’t check all of the domains, I did find one example of a domain name that someone appears to have purchased on the fist day of Early Access. That means the buyer paid at least $10,000 for it: soccer.guru, which is now registered to an Ontario, Canada man.
OK, now on to a potentially problematic issue.
Remember how when .eu, .info, and other domains came out, domainers “gamed” the system by applying for joke trademarks and using this to get the domain names in sunrise?
Well, the new Trademark Clearinghouse is full of marks of questionable quality. Although each registry may interpret the contract differently, new TLD registries are basically obligated to give a sunrise registration to someone with a registration in the Trademark Clearinghouse.
Donuts had to cough up domains like luxury.guru, cloud.guru, bet.guru, realestate.guru, wedding.clothing, travel.singles, and finance.holdings at sunrise prices of under $200.
All of the claimed trademarks were from Switzerland. And do you know who owns these trademarks and got the above mentioned domains through sunrise? Other new TLD applicants.
Specifically, all of them have an address of 427 N. Camden Drive in Beverly Hills. That’s the address for .Luxury, What Box? Holdings (another TLD applicant) and lawyer Thomas Brackey. I’ve also discovered that What Box? has a mark with the TMCH for “credit.”
I think Uniregistry was smart to add a provision to its contracts that make it very difficult for sunrise registrants to ever transfer their domains to someone else. Others should follow.
Somewhere in Switzerland, a vault of luxury gTLDs creaks open … 😀
Tim Davids says
Hopefully this house of cards falls fast. This crap will make the industry look like a bunch of clowns.
If I may ask, how did you figure out that WhatBox has mark for “credit” with the TMCH ?
Andrew Allemann says
If you go to a registrar offering domains under EAP and search for something like credit.pluming, you’ll see the notice.
Follow this process:
Domo Sapiens says
Andrew so far you are the only blogger reporting on this Inconvenient New gTLD news…
looks like others are blogging about it as well.. just an observation on my part
Andrew Allemann says
It’s not fishy. It’s a pain in the ass to get and collate this data, at least without an automated means. Kevin Murphy also posted about it last night.
Actually, there are – for now – 2 trademarks matching the string “credit” which are registered with the TMCH.
The second holder is also not an industry rookie 😉 I can’t wait for the conspiracy theorists to update their files!
“Well, the new Trademark Clearinghouse is full of marks of questionable quality.”
I have a bit of a problem with this.
In domain investing you play by the rules and grab what you can and people come along all the time and assert all sorts of arguments as to why they have more rights to a name then the registrant. Yes? As domain investors, we don’t care if it is a one-person business wanting to buy the name or a large corporate. The concept of one person having more right than another is largely irrelevant.
So why are you now applying your subjective judgement as to what constitutes quality in a trademark? If it is a trademark with enforceable rights, then, surely, a trademark is a trademark.
In Australia, where I am, unlike the “first to use” doctrine that underpins the US trademark system, here it is “first to register”. So if you reg a trademark and have a genuine intent to you use it down the track, you have enforceable rights for five years, without “use” coming into play.
In the case of .eu, I made good use of the accelerated trademark offering in Benelux (same day) so I could qualify for .eu names and I make no apology for that. Just like I make no apology when I reg a name a millisecond before a punter that thinks they have rights because they are in love with a name.
Rules and rules. We following then and reg names and make money. No?
Sincerely, friendly feedback..…in the nicest and friendliest possible way!!!
Andrew Allemann says
Interesting. It seems Donuts may have blocked some of the second level strings that got gamed in this round from registration in its other TLDs. It has “registry reserved” direct, luxury, cloud, finance etc. in many TLDs that don’t have it on the name collisions list. A quick action to stop the gaming?
I appreciate the analysis; very time consuming to research and communicate correctly.
Michael Cyger says
Smart reporting, as always.
Andrew Allemann says
These d-bag domain collectors should simply be shut off. Sorry, you lose all your domains. Thank you for playing.
Thank you for this constructive analysis