Del Monte and Amazon prosper in gTLD raffle


Amazon and Del Monte have both ranked highly in a raffle-like draw used to determine which generic top-level domains (gTLDs) will launch first next year.

The applications for .play (filed by Amazon) and .delmonte and were in the top five names picked, after applications for internationalised domain names (IDNs) went first. There were 1,766 applications—more than 90 percent of the total applications—taking part in the draw in Los Angeles on December 17. The remaining bids opted out.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which oversaw the draw and manages the gTLD programme, picked out the bid for the Chinese-character .catholic first.

Of the first 100 non-IDN strings, 45 were branded names or generic terms submitted by brands. In the top 25 brands on the list, there were terms such as .lipsy, .fiat and .lasalle.

Five of Microsoft’s 11 applications came in the top 500. The leading gTLD applicants with a combined total of around 180, Google and Amazon, saw 44 of their bids falling in the top 500.

For many brands it was important to land in the top 1000, because ICANN can delegate only that number of domains per year owing to technical restraints. Applications for .yahoo and .philips came 1012th and 1013th, respectively. Google’s application for .mba came last, at 1917.

Brands that opted out included Goodyear, Lego, Ford, Volvo and Olympus. Google chose not to submit one quarter of its applications (24 out of 98), while Richemont held back four of its 14 applications.

“We’re now one step closer to seeing new gTLDs go live,” said Adrian Kinderis, chief executive of ARI Registry services, who attended the draw in LA.

The raffle number determines the order in which ICANN will process and delegate the domains next year, expected to be after April. But a formal objection period, which is set to close on March 13, 2013, and so-called contention sets can affect this order.

ICANN is encouraging applicants for contested domains to negotiate in order to resolve the contention. As a last resort an ICANN-approved auction may be required, while some applicants are considering using private auctions.

Ben Anderson, head of gTLDs at consultant NetNames, said brands outside the top 1000 should still strive to create their gTLD strategies:

“If you are far down the list, you shouldn’t treat it as a ‘wait-and-see’ game. All it will take is for one such organisation, with a strong digital footprint and enough consumer sway, to take the lead and demonstrate the potential of gTLDs. Preparation is key to ensure you are ready for when the online marketplace opens up to shape your online digital footprint. Those that act early will be ahead of the game and in a better position to defend their online presence.”

You can view the list here.

This article was first published on 19 December 2012 in World IP Review

Del Monte, Amazon, gTLD, icann, .brand

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