In a letter of termination on 2 May, recently published by ICANN, McDonald’s relinquished control of the .McDonalds and .MCD TLDs, but asked that .McDonalds not be delegated to a successor registry operator for two years.
The only live website attached to the .McDonalds TLD is a page at nic.mcdonalds that describes the fast food chain’s policies.
The termination follows a report from the International Trademark Association (INTA) that found that new gTLD registrations during the first application round in 2012 and 2013 were being made overwhelmingly for defensive purposes, costing brands more and creating no direct value.
INTA surveyed 33 brand owners on the impact that new gTLDs have had on enforcement costs for trademark owners.
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 gTLDs are overwhelmingly used to defend trademarks.
Brand owners are more likely to register new gTLDs to ‘park’ them, preventing unauthorised use, according to INTA’s survey.