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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 .mcdonalds Dot Brand

McDonald's Corporation is the world's largest food service retailer with over 33,000 restaurants in 119 countries. Its 1.7 million employees help to serve around 68 million customers every day. The company's franchise model means that around 80% of McDonald's restaurants are independently owned and operated.

The application for the .mcdonalds TLD will complement the company's business model to "consistently deliver innovation and new products to meet customers' changing needs and preferences". The new brand string will also be in line with the public interest.

The McDonald's brand domain will help differentiate the company by providing a distinctive name space with simple navigation and intuitive access.

The Applicant makes mention of its existing domain name portfolio which contains many "exact match" domains like,,, and

The application notes that in the current domain name system businesses are limited by the unavailability or high expense of acquiring a desired domain name. Needs are being unmet. This problem is amplified for companies that operate globally. The brand domains will help to resolve this problem by facilitating almost unlimited naming options.

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McDonald's is a universally-recognised global brand with its "McDonald's" trademark registered in more than 170 countries and territories for a wide variety of goods and services in numerous International Classes.

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"McDonald's" was ranked the fourth most valuable brand name in the world by BrandZ who valued it at about USD 81 billion. The .mcdonalds string will be an important opportunity to build and protect the valuable brand. Fostering its brand reputation is a paramount consideration. The TLD will help customers connect with the brand online and assure its authenticity.

Another paramount goal is to promote McDonald's as an innovative organization. New "on demand" domain options will enable the company to help customers by providing new, streamlined and accessible choices and destinations. New domains will be created that are related to "specific marketing and specialty product development".

McDonald's states that it will launch communication campaigns to drive consumers to its branded URLs, without providing details.

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Given the restricted nature of the .mcdonalds gTLD, the projected number of registrations is likely to be limited. It is anticipated that no more than 100 domain names will be registered in the first year. However, over the next few years, the number of registrations may increase to about 500 domain names.

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Consumer trust is also a paramount consideration. Confidence will be increased through the elimination of user confusion. Customers will come to know that a .mcdonalds website's content is authoritative and genuine. McDonald's will implement the necessary technical and policy measures to maximise security. Personal and confidential information will be protected.

In line with the general growth and sophistication of the internet, online crime has also evolved. Activities such as data breaches, hacking, phishing and other malicious conduct has resulted in "loss of consumer confidence beyond mere monetary harm".

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.mcdonalds will facilitate greater trust and assurance from internet users connecting with McDonald's online, whilst still allowing convenient and efficient interaction.

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globe pictureGeographic Dot Brands

McDonald's respects the GAC's principles regarding New gTLDs and will initially comply with the requirements of Specification 5 of the Registry Agreement. These requirements state that applicants must reserve from registration certain standardized lists of country & territory names that are sensitive for various national governments.

However, McDonald's considers that these requirements are more applicable to open registry TLD operators rather than single-registrant operational models such as its dot brand.

The Applicant believes that the incorporation of geographic terms in its domain names will be valuable to online visitors because they will be reassured that content will be locally relevant and resonant with local customs and regulations. Its application states that an important part of its business model is to provide "locally relevant restaurant experiences".

...McDonald's Corporation believes that the use of geographic terms can provide great benefit and simplicity to internet users because these terms are intuitive ways to resolve to McDonald's Corporation's content that is specifically relevant and targeted to users in the particular geographic region.

While the Applicant concludes by stating that it "will not use geographic names until ICANN has approved such use" it will actively explore a process to facilitate the use of such terms. The terms can help mitigate against the risk of unnecessary user confusion and benefit the public. McDonald's respects the sovereign interests of various governments. It suggests various options including contacting the GAC or the governments concerned to obtain either approval or non-objection to the use of geographic identifiers with a proposed 90-day objection period.

Generally, it is extremely unlikely that McDonald's Corporation's tightly controlled use of any or domain name could be confusing or detrimental to users, or otherwise offensive to any country.

NOTE: cc = country code

At a later date McDonald's leaves open the possibility it may wish to use internationalized domain names and foreign languages to further enhance its goal of interaction at the local level.

Possible .mcdonalds Brand Domains


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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