Despite all the technical brilliance and legal archery, at the end of the day, a gTLD is just a ‘name’. It makes no difference where the dot is placed it’s still a name and subjected to rules of corporate nomenclature and trademark laws. A name by name evaluation of the 542 generic names will clarify the market confusion over the naming issues.
ICANN seems to have viewed domain name only as a device to open websites, but today it’s in the in the eye of the storm of global ‘naming’ complexities where soft power of corporate nomenclature dominates the landscape. Sooner or later ICANN will have to show expertise in ‘soft power’ issues of naming and work parallel with ‘hard asset’ of technical sides or when accommodating trademark industry procedures.
By their mandate, trademark lawyers play a critical role in name conflicts, apply wisdom and clauses to defend and protect trademarks. However, such conflicts are post name selection issues; their mandate does not allow them to provide much earlier needed opinions on naming to their clients. As a result, the legal profession basically focuses on black and white issues and not the soft power nomenclature areas.
Here as a very small example; if ‘apple’ is in conflict with ‘abble’ they will apply the rules but are not mandated to create ‘pineapple’ ‘banana’ or ‘apple juice’ as alternate marketing solution. Such strategies are the realms of corporate nomenclature discipline. Now that the global naming complexities are so much on the forefront it is becoming increasingly important for lawyers to become well informed global naming experts. Where, when and how names are created and what really happens to ‘name suitability’ if wrongly thrown in the complex naming jungle to earn brand name equity.
Despite all the trademark protection and legal input, the entire proposed gTLD name applications, across the board, shows lack of name selection skills; on one side large numbers of weaker or dysfunctional names have been proposed and on the other real good winners were completely ignored.
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On April 24th 3013, in a webinar event all 542 generic names will be evaluated.
Of all the related professional business services the advertising and branding agencies of world were best suited to take the lead and bridge the information gap on gTLD program. Their early and blunt refusal to entertain any of the gTLD issues or to engage in any serious fashion on global naming complexities only added confusion in the market place. Despite all that they are still best poised to lead the charge provided they get fully and openly engaged and attempt to become global experts on advanced level of corporate nomenclature alongside their traditional creative services.
From the start of e-commerce, the domain name industry, registrars, registries and domainers have seen amazing ups and down and full spectrum of domain naming. However the upcoming sudden shifts from scarcity to massive abundance will force the industry professionals to be more acquainted with world-class naming rules. Incorporation of such soft side thinking of global naming along with their hard wire mentality of volume selling will be beneficial to the entire industry.
Dumping improperly conceived random gTLDs, will only create massive high volume defensive-registrations, and traffic jams at trademark clearing house. The future of global domain expansion is far brighter and skillful naming management must be at the core of this progression.