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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 .sony Dot Brand

Sony Corporation is comprised of a group of 1,309 subsidiaries and 90 affiliates. The group has more than 168,000 employees and operates globally. Sony produces audio, TV, video and communication equipment and components. It is also involved in mobile devices, entertainment and finance.

The .sony extension will benefit Internet users by enhancing Sony's ability to "communicate more easily and effectively" with visitors, customers, employees and affiliates.

Maintaining and building a strong Internet presence is part of the group's long-term vision and the brand TLDs will be a key feature of this program. Positive policies will be established to "constantly ensure the integrity of users' .SONY experience". Ultimately, the TLD will be used in relation to many of Sony's core operations.

quotation mark

The TLD will become a supporting branding, technology and services platform for The Company's mission and its businesses...

...The Company envisions that the .SONY TLD and the domain names registered under it will provide a great opportunity to interact online with current and potential customers and stakeholders.

quotation mark

The .sony registry will allow Sony to distribute and exchange information via websites, social networks, email and related technologies. It will create a new and distinctive platform for company content. A primary focus will be on promotion and navigation. While the Applicant intends to maintain full ownership of its brand string, it is possible that individual domains may be licensed to affiliates after a few years (under strict regulation).

The TLD will provide an alternative channel for Sony online which will serve as a "differentiation force". There will be a great opportunity for innovation. Sony expects that — just as consumers understand the intrinsic value and symbolism of brands in the bricks and mortar world — they will appreciate the value of the dot brands at the top level of the domain name system.

As many industry insiders predict there will be many new .BRAND TLDs, it is expected that consumers will learn to distinguish them from the existing TLDs and from new generic, geographical or cultural TLDs.

The "Sony" brand is a famous multinational corporate brand. It has been in continuous use since 1958 and the name is registered in more than 200 countries and/or trademark jurisdictions. The mark is a continuing reminder to customers about the quality of Sony goods & services, and the application notes that the "registry operator's brand is inherently intertwined with all uses of .SONY domain names".

The Company expects to benefit from the TLD by increased and more effective brand recognition in its marketing and communications, and by having an ample supply of relevant and available domain names to use in its business.

Sony's initial projections for the .sony string are for around 700 domain names to be registered. The group's current traditional domain portfolio contains more than 600. The application makes note of the present difficulty and expense of acquiring names on the secondary domain market.

The new TLD will provide a logical indicator of the source (and trustworthiness) of all content. Sony believes that, over time, consumers will "intuitively come to know and use .SONY domain names to directly navigate to their intended destination".

Sony hopes to encourage online interaction via its marketing, services and web infrastructure. It will use leading-edge technologies and practices to ensure a positive experience for visitors. It expects that its own outreach and communications program to promote the TLD will be followed by viral communications from its audience and various media.

A certain degree of promotion and communication will be inherent in the nature and structure of the string. For example:

...a user who first sees an advertisement for product.SONY may later directly navigate to search.SONY to search for other products of The Company.

The .sony string will function as an online branding and services platform to reinforce the group's reputation, ideals and mission.

The brand domains will be intuitive and logical:

quotation mark

...the TLD will provide an easily navigable and predictable domain name space. For example, geographicnames.SONY for locations of The Company's localized websites, function.SONY for websites related to that company function, product.SONY for websites related to that product.

quotation mark

Sony anticipates that the dot brands will enjoy collective benefits since Internet users will "quickly grasp the concept behind these TLDs" and expect them to be operated consistently.

The Applicant is committed to operating the .sony string as a safe and reliable channel. Consumers will enjoy enhanced confidence. Online transactions will be secure.

Sony will maintain an advanced and robust internal program to prevent any possible harmful use of the .sony TLD, and will simultaneously take advantage of the anti-abuse capabilities of its back-end registry, ARI Registry Services. A mitigation program will be activated in the event of any undesirable activity being detected. The Applicant will also work with industry partners, law enforcement agencies and the general public as appropriate.

Examples of possible abusive activities include fast flux hosting, malware distribution, phishing, illegal access to other networks, pharming, phishing, spam and botnet command & control. In addition, users' privacy and confidential information will be strongly protected.

Only a small number of trusted and authorised staff members will be allowed to register .sony domains, in contrast to the vast number of registrants within existing TLDs.

quotation mark

This arrangement precludes the abusive registration and use of .SONY domain names by unauthorised individuals not within the registry operator's organisation whilst also providing no incentive for those within... to engage in abusive behaviour...

quotation mark

globe pictureGeographic Dot Brands

Specification 5 of the New gTLD Registry Agreement requires that country & territory names be reserved from registration within the program.

Sony will use a master list of geographic terms to comply with the agreement. This list will include names on the ISO 3166-1 list as well as terms on a UN Group of Experts standardized names list as well as a UN Working Group list.

Sony will also have the flexibility of using this mechanism to add further terms at will (in collaboration with ARI).

In addition to these requirements, ARI are able to support the wishes of The Company in regards to the reservation of additional terms on a case by case basis.

The Applicant foresees that it will likely seek to be able to use geographical names in the future. Hence, it proposes a "special release mechanism" under which permission may be obtained.

In this scenario, the GAC would be given the opportunity to object to any proposed use of a country name. Sony also states that in the unlikely event that a geographic name is found to be confusing or offensive, it would be strongly motivated to act quickly to respect the sovereign interests of that country.

Generally, it is extremely unlikely that The Company's authorized use of any countryname.SONY or cc.SONY domain name could be confusing to users, or otherwise offensive to any country.

NOTE: cc = country code

Possible .sony 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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