New York
28 June 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

New gTLDs used for defensive purposes


New gTLD registrations are being made overwhelmingly for defensive purposes, costing brands more and creating no direct value, according a new survey from the International Trademark Association (INTA).

The study surveyed 33 brand owners on the impact that new gTLDs have had on enforcement costs for intellectual property owners.

Respondents were asked to provide exact figures or best estimates of their in house and outside legal fees, filing fees, investigation cost and total costs of enforcing their new gTLDs.

The primary goal of the new gTLD programme was to increase choice for domain registrants, but the survey found that this was not the case and that domain names registered on new gTLD’s are overwhelmingly used to defend intellectual property.

In part, brand owners are registering gTLDs to ‘park’ them, meaning that they are not receiving direct value from the brands, but preventing unauthorised use of them.

This has, in turn, increased the overall costs of trademark defense, with internet monitoring and diversion actions fielding the largest costs.

The size of the company did not correlate with its spending activity; brand activity appeared as the driving factor of cost.

INTA says it will further analyse this new data to use in its advocacy with regard to the expansion of gTLDs.

The association’s Internet and Impact Studies Committees are also working to create a tool to assist members in tracking the potential costs of the new gTLDs.

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