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Sample Brand Domains


.merck (1)
.merck (2)



This small list of brand domains represents less than one eighth of around 680 pending applications. The potential collective impact on the internet is significant — given the immense resources and market power of these global corporations.

NOTE: IDNs (internationalized domain names) such as brand names in Chinese or Arabic scripts are not currently covered by this site.





The .theguardian Dot Brand

SPECIAL NOTE: Guardian News and Media Limited (the newspaper and media group) has withdrawn its application for the .guardian TLD and is focused on its .theguardian string application. The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America is proceeding with an application for .guardian.

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The Guardian was founded in 1821 and provides a unique style of global, independent and liberal journalism. The group publishes newspapers, news websites, social media accounts and various online products and services. It is also involved in film production. It was named Newspaper of the Year at the British Press Awards in 2011.

Guardian News and Media foresees growth in media opportunities on the internet, has a stated "digital-first strategy", and has a "firm commitment to the primacy of digital technology to the future of journalism and publishing". This commitment has led to it becoming a world leader in digital journalism.

The Group frequently experiments with new systems of digital communication. The goal is to reinforce its credibility and reputation, expand its outreach and achieve growth around the world. It has a daily average of 2.7m visitors.

The launch of the .theguardian TLD will parallel the online expansion of The Guardian's brands and enhance its reputation for journalistic excellence, innovation and independence. It will assist in the unity of the Group's domain name structure, online security and stability.

It will also help guarantee the company's future. The TLD's usage will include at a minimum "websites, emails, online applications, online transactions, social media, directories and any new usages of domain names".

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Guardian News and Media (GNM) has chosen to apply for the TLD to provide an accessible, safe, secure, and globally recognized service for high quality, open journalism that simultaneously promotes awareness of GNM services and products and facilitates the digital growth and geographic expansion of the (Guardian) brands...

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The Guardian has a strong commitment to corporate social responsibility. This includes a key commitment to sustainability, for example, it's two print sites have Carbon Trust certification, and the .theguardian string will help to "further diminish the Group's carbon footprint...".

The Applicant holds trademarks on the term 'Guardian' in nine jurisdictions. Its .theguardian string will enable it to extend the awareness and protection of this valuable brand. "The TLD will control and protect Guardian News and Media's brands and services by providing an official digital hub..."

The Guardian will restrict use of .theguardian domain names to itself and affiliates for a minimum of three years. In common with many brand domain applicants, it will analyse the state of the market and the relative success of other dot brands and consider the possibility of extending eligibility for registration. (This may require amendments to the Eligibility Policy.)

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Guardian News and Media plans to extend the registration base in the future (though not within three years of delegation).

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The Applicant's digital presence and mission of "empowerment, innovation and engagement" will be enhanced by the new string. Its business divisions will be able to register the "shortest, most intuitive, and most descriptive domain names possible". New email addresses will also be more efficient. The application mentions in passing that it will undertake international marketing and branding activities to promote the new string.

The TLD will make the Guardian digital platform more easily accessible, searchable, and locatable and will help Guardian News and Media enlarge the community of contributors by promoting and enabling user interaction.

The Guardian will feature its new domain names in all its print and online content. There will be advertising campaigns. The application also implies that the Group will transition existing material over to the new TLD.

Guardian News and Media will incorporate the use of the TLD name in all published (physical and digital) materials and as part of our advertising campaigns... Additionally, its use and promotion throughout GNM's already strong digital presence will ensure a seamless transition to the new TLD and significant and rapid new user uptake.

The Applicant's .theguardian extension will support various ICANN goals such as promoting consumer trust, security, and rights protection. The TLD provides an opportunity for accurate and reliable content to be offered. "The TLD has been designed to provide a trusted zone free from security breaches and technical problems." The Guardian's own brand and rights will be strongly protected and controlled. Privacy and confidentiality for visitor interactions will also be a high priority.

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The TLD will assure consumers that the corporate communications and websites... are authorized by Guardian Media Group — promoting confidence in the Group's brands, their journalistic integrity and informational accuracy, and protection (of) consumers from potentially harmful third parties.

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Visitors will be able to easily identify authentic Guardian sites as part of a digital hub without being impeded by the distraction of various generic and country code domain extensions.

NOTE: GNM = Guardian News and Media

globe pictureGeographic Dot Brands

Unlike most other applicants for brand domains, The Guardian makes no mention in its application that it will apply for permission to use geographic terms within its .theguardian TLD. But there can be little doubt that if such permission is granted to other dot brands, The Guardian, as an international media company, will likewise seek to use geographic domains.

Permission is highly likely across the board for the brand domains — there are no apparent grounds for confusion and geographic signifiers for them would seem to be in the public interest — though not in the case of the generic TLD applications.

The Applicant will compile a list of reserved names based on the country and territory names in the ISO 3166-1 list, the UN Group of Experts on Geographical Names and a Working Group's list of UN members (in six languages). "Prior to its launch Applicant will compile a list of country and territory names that are subject to reservation on the second level (left of the dot)."

Possible .theguardian Brand Domains


...And subject to geographic usage permission, the following would obviously be practical domains for Guardian News and Media:



Brand names mentioned on this site are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective corporations. This site claims no association with or endorsement by any of these corporations and their marks are mentioned only to illustrate opinion presented in the public interest.

All quotations on this page are from the respective companies' official ICANN brand TLD applications unless otherwise stated.

Many possible theoretical dot brands are mentioned (in English). There are also countless possibilities in other languages. This has significant potential value for international navigation.

This site is focused on reporting the strategic impact of the brand domains on internet communication, competition and commerce, and some comment is speculative.

It is not a comprehensive overview of what some of the world's largest corporations have chosen to reveal about their plans for the implementation of their proprietary domain strings.

ICANN is particularly concerned with the technical, financial, security and legal issues associated with the new TLDs. These issues are beyond the scope of this website.

For a comprehensive overview of the brand domains and their impact on the web, refer to ICANN's website and the individual applications (large parts of which are publicly published).

If you have a particular interest in an individual company, the public aspects of their applications are available for download via these ICANN links: You can also search a complete list of applicants there.

ICANN new gTLD applications

ICANN official website



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The Brand Domains — it's unprecedented — the advent of around 680 companies launching their own dot brands began in 2014.



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