Swedish furniture giant IKEA decided to apply to run a ‘.ikea’ domain name registry, but is now reconsidering its position. The reason for reconsideration appears to be based on misinformation: IKEA’s general counsel said it was because Ikea doesn’t want to have to “let others in” to the registry.
“We took a decision last year that we should do it,” said Gabrielle Olsson Skalin
, IKEA’s general counsel, at the ECTA meeting in Stockholm. “But we are reconsidering because you have to be a registry and eventually you have to let others in to register on this domain name. Our main purpose is not to become a domain name registry.”
The Applicant Guidebook does not say an awful lot about ‘.brand’ strings, but WTR
understands that IKEA has got it wrong: no successful applicant would be forced to sell second-level registrations. Since they become the registry, they can just set a tight policy that prohibits the sale of registrations in their TLD to third parties. If that’s the major consideration, then maybe IKEA will return to its original position and prepare an application for ‘.ikea’.
Of course, there is more to IKEA’s consideration than what to do at the second-level. “We don’t want anyone else to get ‘.ikea’,” said Skalin. “But from a marketing perspective we don’t see benefit – just increased costs and also more work to be done in house.”
Indeed, that perspective certainly seemed to be common among ECTA delegates who sat down this afternoon at a session on new gTLDs. There was little feeling of opportunity in the air regarding new gTLDs – just resistance. Olof Nordling
, ICANN’s director of service relations, fielded a number of questions from tetchy trademark attorneys not happy with the gTLD roll out. Nordling insisted that ICANN has listened to the voices of the IP community, and added that no one knows whether the ICANN board will approve the Applicant Guidebook or just the programme itself in Singapore later this month.
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