18(a) Describe the mission/purpose of your proposed gTLD
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At this stage, KONE Corporation (KONE) intends to use the proposed new .kone gTLD for internal purposes and only KONE and its affiliate entities are to be registrants under the .kone gTLD.
At the same time, the mission and purpose of the new restricted .kone gTLD is to benefit internet users by ensuring increased trust, confidence, accessibility and security through the elimination of user confusion and assurance of brand authenticity.
The .kone gTLD will create a new generation gTLD serving the interests of end users by providing an authoritative Internet space where information, services and resources of KONE and its affiliates will be closely controlled by KONE. The majority of the anticipated domain name registrations in the .kone gTLD will be used in the promotion and communication of the KONE brand through easy access, strengthened trust and security. A subset of domain names has the potential to be created and used for communication and marketing purposes, with internet users assured of brand authenticity.
KONE was established in 1910 and has become one of the global leaders in the elevator and escalator industry today. KONE has its head office in Helsinki, Finland and currently has more than 1,000 offices with over 35,000 employees around the world. In addition KONE has authorized distributors in over 60 countries. In 2011, KONE had annual net sales of EUR 5.2 billion and its class B shares are listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd. KONE provides industry-leading elevators, escalators and innovative solutions for modernization and maintenance to its key customers, including builders, building owners, facility managers and developers. KONE strives to continue to develop and deliver new technologies and solutions to enable people to move safely and comfortably in an increasingly urbanising environment. In this regard, continued innovation and consumer trust in its brand are key considerations for KONE.
The volume of commercial transactions over the internet is constantly growing and bringing benefits of simplicity and lowered transaction costs to businesses and consumers. However, at the same time, criminal activities over the internet including data breach, hacking and phishing activities have also become more sophisticated resulting in loss of consumer confidence. The .kone gTLD will facilitate greater trust and assurance from internet users connecting with KONE online, whilst still allowing convenient and efficient interaction.
KONE’s mission and purpose of the proposed new gTLD share ICANN’s initiatives to promote public interest. KONE is committed to contribute towards achieving such initiatives in line with ICANN’s Affirmation of Commitments, which includes:
- consumer trust: the .kone gTLD registry will be operated in a centralised manner with a restrictive registration policy. Registration of domain names will only be available to KONE and its affiliate entities, at this stage, which will provide added consumer trust that .kone domain names are trustworthy. As .kone domain names are subject to registration standards, policies and procedures under KONE’s control, this reduces the risk of malicious conduct within the .kone domain space;
- competition: the proposed new gTLD is not intended to instigate competition and consumer choice at the level of registration of domain names among prospective registrants. Instead it is anticipated to contribute to ICANN’s initiatives to promote public interest through its operation focused on promoting consumer trust. Increased trust in the .kone gTLD will drive existing and new top level domain (TLD) registry operators to make improvements in mechanisms to improve consumer trust of their TLDs; and
- consumer choice: the proposed new gTLD will enable user-driven improvements and innovations assisting KONE’s marketing efforts through its ability to create new second and third level domain names on demand. These names will provide the consumers with more choices for interacting with KONE. As KONE has effective control over the registration and use of domain names under .kone domain space, this will also contribute towards general service innovations on the internet.
Given the restricted nature of the .kone gTLD, the projected number of registration is likely to be limited. It is anticipated that a more limited number of domain names (approximately 5) will be registered in the first year. However, over the next few years, the number of registrations may increase to up to 310 domain names as KONE develops and implements new services and marketing campaigns.
If the new .kone gTLD expands and evolves, KONE may consider offering the use of second level domain names to its authorised distributors, agents or other partners at a later date. In this endeavour, KONE will continue to comply with all operational, technical and policy requirements, as well as maintaining consumer trust and the stability of the internet. KONE will keep ICANN reasonably informed of any material developments relating to .kone gTLD including compliance with the continued operations instrument obligations as set out in Specification 8 of the Registry Agreement.
KONE intends to create relevant domain names for use including product, services or geographic names in the second or third level domain names. In accordance with registration policy and the proposed measures for protection of geographic names as outlined in response to Question 22, KONE will use geographic names to localise its websites in the countries in which it operates. The use of geographic names is intended to:
- connect internet users with relevant information as applicable to the territory;
- facilitate navigation to geographic-specific information;
- comply with required rules and regulations in the national territory.
KONE does not intend to utilise Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) at the second level initially. However, as the use of the .kone gTLD evolves, it is anticipated that KONE will utilise IDNs within the .kone domain space to allow internet users to engage with .kone in their native language, creating a more positive user experience and encouraging diversity.
KONE is a well-recognised global brand with its trademarks registered in approximately 130 countries and territories for all goods and services descriptions commonly used for or in connection with elevators, escalators, moving walkways and automatic building doors, associated components and spare parts as well as associated installation, maintenance, modernization and repair services, including but not limited to descriptions 06, 07, 09, 19, 20 and 37 under the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks (Nice Classification) - NCL(8).
Further, KONE has over 70 existing domain names with an exact match to the “KONE” trademark and the applied for .kone string, in the following spaces:
- gTLDs, such as kone.com, kone.mobi
- country-code TLDs (ccTLDs), such as kone.co.uk, kone.me, kone.lv, kone.us, kone.eu, kone.gr
KONE believes that the .kone gTLD is unlikely to cause confusion with either a generic term or any existing TLDs. KONE trademarks are a leading brand with significant reputation around the world as a global leader in the escalator and elevator industry with the “KONE” brand used in conjunction with its services for over 100 years.
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