Oct 2013 15

Donuts and the Domain Protected Marks List (DPML)

Donuts, the largest portfolio applicant in the new gTLD program, recently launched a unique and innovative blocking service for trademark holders known as the Domain Protected Marks List, or DPML.

The Bellevue-based registry applied for more than 300 new gTLDs including internationalized domain names (IDNs) and says they expect to launch about 200 of these extensions in the next eighteen months.

A DPML block is not an active domain name registration.  Similar to the ICM Registry’s trademark blocking program for .xxx, a DPML block is a way in which a trademark holder can block proactively block registrations in all of the Donuts TLDs. A block is not a delegated domain name with name servers, and cannot be used as a website address or for an MX email record; blocks will not have a configurable zone file.

Instead, a trademark holder will submit their signed mark data (SMD) or sunrise file to qualify for a DPML block.

SMD files are issued for a trademark clearinghouse registration that was filed with proof of use.  This is the pre-requisite for any rights holder interested in getting a DPML block for their mark.

Another consideration is that the actual list of Donuts TLDs has yet to be determined.  While they have signed registry agreements, each TLD must also (a) pass pre-delegation testing (PDT), (b) pass integration testing with the trademark clearinghouse (TMCH), and finally be delegated by ICANN and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) which is responsible for global coordination of the DNS root and other technical resources.

These other conditions and exclusions apply, leading some in the intellectual property community to frown at the half-baked rights protection mechanism (RPM): typos or misspellings of a mark label and one or two character marks are not eligible, another mark holder with a verified TMCH record for the same mark name may override a block during Sunrise for a specific TLD by applying for an active domain (known as an override).

For marquee global brands, a DPML block may be a cost-effective alternative to registering individual sunrise domain names.

Founded and staffed by an extensive list of domain name industry veterans, the Donuts registry has signed more than half of the registry agreements to-date that have been executed with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) globally.