Com Laude Foresight 2020 Seminar: Adultblocks, benchmarking, and second round of gTLDs

Last week, Com Laude hosted a seminar at INTA’s headquarters in New York titled Foresight 2020: State of the Union in the Domain Name Industry. The day saw discussions focused on best practices and planning for domains as a driver and supporter of trademarks and other IP. This is an excerpt of an exclusive guest post by Nick Wood, executive chairman and founder of Com Laude, provides a recap of the main takeaways.

Brands need to benchmark for success

Internal benchmarking is an essential process for pinpointing inconsistent domain registrations and strategic mismatches. External benchmarking can also provide insight on what competitors or similarly scaled enterprises are doing to manage their portfolios.
With analysis complete, it’s time to tidy up the portfolio – whether disposing through lapses or domain brokering, or filling the gaps with new registrations. Once complete, you’re in a position to start setting up processes that will provide alerts, assist with budgeting, inform proactive planning, and can be used as an internal training tool.

It is time to think about a second round of new gTLDs

Most ‘.brand’ TLDs were initially purchased for defensive purposes, but there have been companies who have made efforts to exploit this asset in their domain arsenal for a variety of purposes. Commercial examples given included:

  • ‘oui.sncf’, the French national rail service, selling over 250,000 tickets a day.
  • ‘support.skype’ for customer service purposes.
  • ‘yankees.mlb’ for deep-link redirects.
  • ‘extraordinaryjourneys.bentley’ for the launch of the EXP 100 GT.
  • ‘wecare.weber’ for corporate social responsibility messaging.
  • ‘jobs.intel’ for careers and HR functions.

The next round of new gTLDs is coming. A probable timeline shows that ICANN policy developments in such areas as rights protections, geographic names, predictable windows for registrations and fees is delaying the launch of the next round until late 2021 or early 2022.

Adapt your strategies to fight in infringers exploiting short windows of opportunity

There has been massive growth of social online activity that is being exploited by counterfeiters in an orchestrated and global way.
The challenge, then, is keeping up with current trends, demographics and user behaviours and employing current technologies to tap into social media platforms, capture counterfeit sales data and react quickly with effective enforcement.

As a starting point companies should investigate the efficacy of brand monitoring tools for their business. From domain watching services, to social media, market place and web monitoring there are several approaches to choose from and the choice you make will, of course, be dependent on the nature of the infringement you experience against your brand.

To read the full article with more details on benchmarking, the second round of new gTLDs and AdultBlock, please head over to World Trademark Review.

This article was reprinted with permission from World Trademark Review.

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