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Digging in on Donuts’ Sunrise: Amazon tops the list, gaming, and top registrars

Here’s a look at the top registrants and registrars, plus details on possible gaming and EAP day one registrations.

Last night I published initial data about Donuts’ sunrise period on its first seven domain names. This was based on names in the zone files that were published last night.

As I mentioned in my previous post, the number of names in the zone file should be considered the lower bound of names that were actually registered in sunrise. I’ve already discovered more names, such as Wordpress.guru (which doesn’t have nameservers). It also doesn’t account for companies that blocked their mark across all of Donuts’ domains with the domain blocking service.

I spent much of this morning pulling records on all of the domains to better analyze the data. Here are some observations.

Amazon registered the most domains.

I’ve argued before that Amazon’s applications for closed TLDs may just be a defensive play. I’ve observed the number of domains it registers for each product and brand launch and it’s staggering.

Likewise, it was the number one registrant in Donuts’ sunrise. Here’s how many domains I counted from Amazon and other companies, as well as some insight.

1. Amazon.com 71 – they covered the gamut of brands, including AWS, Fire, Woot, Prime, Audible, etc. They also registered some one-off brands in .clothing.
2. Johnson & Johnson 42 – domains were in .holdings and .ventures.
3. Ameritrade 34 – mostly .guru, .ventures, and .holdings.
4. ZEG Zweirad-Einkaufs-Genossenschaft eG 26 – the company registered many brands under .bike.
5. Yahoo! 23 – I’m not sure why it chose to register domains like flickr.plumbing and tumblr.bike rather than blocking them.
6. Barzano-Zanardo 22 – mostly .clothing and .bike.
7. Fruit of the Loom 21 – all .clothing.
8. Buckle Brands 20 – all .clothing.
8. Yodobashi Camera
10. Michelin – mostly .bike and .clothing.

The brand protection registrars registered the most.

This shouldn’t come as much surprise, but now I also understand why many mainstream registrars aren’t bothering with sunrise. Here were the top five registrars based on domains in the zone file:

Mark Monitor 215
CSC 192
Com Laude 154
Ascio 99
Key-Systems 78

As for GoDaddy, the biggest registrar in the world? Just 39.

Donuts got gamed.

I wrote last night about how it appeared that a few people gamed the system with some questionable Swiss trademarks.

Now I know the extent of this.

.Luxury’s backer, What Box? Holdings, and attorney Thomas Brackey, which all share the same mailing address, walked away with 32 domains.

What Box was by far the biggest, getting 16 domains including the terms 808, finance, wedding, christmas, realestate, bet, holiday, money, ilove, and travel. Thomas Brackey registered 10 domains with direct and cloud. .Luxury stuck to luxury domains with six domains starting with lux and luxury.

It’s possible some of these will be challenged under section 4.1.e of Donuts’ sunrise dispute policy.

Some people actually bought domains for over $10,000.

Finally, some after-sunrise data. The zone file also includes six domains that were registered on 1/29, and appear to be registered under day 1 of the Early Access Program. That means these companies likely paid over $10,000 for the domains!

update: it appear gmo, deuter, and Promod may have been sunrise registrations.

Here are the six:

1. gmo.ventures (registered by the internet company)
2. Deuter.bike (deuter sport gmbh)
3. Soccer.guru (Avanti Sports)
4. Promod.clothing (Promod in France)
5. Pacific.ventures (under privacy)
6. Sloan.plumbing (Sloan Global Holdings)

I’m surprised that Sloan hasn’t registered “sloan” with the Trademark Clearinghouse. I checked and it hasn’t. That would have been a lot cheaper.

It’s possible there are more day one EAP registrations that aren’t in the zone file yet.

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  1. Ryan says

    All the generic names have been reserved by the registry, so it reinstates it as simply a cash grab, and not opening up more names for people.

  2. Ryan says

    Also these guys are blowing their wad very early in the game, considering there are thousands of new gtlds to come.

  3. ChuckWagen says

    Fostering innovation! Opening up the playing field to encourage competition and fair play! Hoo rah! These ICANN folks are the Mother Teresas of the Interwebs!

  4. Tom G says

    To clarify, Amazon ‘registered’ the names, not blocked, meaning, they can be used and not merely lie dormant, or unresolved?

    • Andrew Allemann says

      That is correct. There are several reasons a mark holder might want to/have to register a domain rather than just use blocking:

      1. They actually want to use it
      2. The domain is considered “premium” by Donuts, so it can’t be registered. (May be the case with fire, aws, etc.)
      3. Someone else has a TM on the name or might get one on the domain, and thus that company will be able to do a block override on the domain
      4. You only want to register it for a few of Donuts’ domains, so it’s more cost effective than buying a block (perhaps some of the ones Amazon blocked in .clothing)

  5. ChuckWagen says

    “Guru” does seem to be a trendy word currently. But like all trends, it won’t last and will become hackneyed quickly. By the way, what’s behind J&J’s fascination with “ventures”?

  6. Tom G says

    One takeaway from this could be that the brand protection ‘extortion’ racket that many like the ANA claimed the New gTLD program to be the was grossly overstated.

  7. Richard Tindal says


    Those sunrise numbers are fairly accurate, and about what we expected. DPML (the block across all Donuts’ TLDs) is our best trademark protection tool and DPML sales are strong. We’re on the public record, for years, saying brand infringement in new TLDs will be dramatically lower than the estimates issued by program opponents. Registries won’t make a lot of money protecting brands.

    We don’t feel gamed in Sunrise. Per ICANN rules, the TMCH decides who can buy then and everyone who bought in our Sunrise met the TMCH ‘in-use’ requirement. We’re not going to become an arbiter of which trademarks are legitimate and which are not. We think it’s a very bad idea for domain registries to become trademark judges.

    Richard Tindal, Donuts

    • Andrew Allemann says

      Thanks for commenting, Richard.

      Regarding the “gaming,” it appears Donuts did end up registry reserving some of these strings in its other TLDs after what happened in this first sunrise, correct?

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