18(b) How do you expect that your proposed gTLD will benefit registrants, Internet users, and others?

Prototypical answer:

gTLDFull Legal NameDetail
.emerckMerck KGaAView

The TLD is intended to benefit Internet users by enabling the Merck company to communicate more easily and effectively with its online visitors, including its clients, shareholders and business associates. Internet users will benefit from a more distinctive and trustworthy Internet experience in dealing with Merck KGaA, which will in turn support Merck’s goal of communicating a message of reliability and trust.

Merck KGaA expects to benefit from the “.EMERCK” TLD by increased and more effective brand recognition in their marketing and communications, and by having an ample supply of relevant and available domain names to use in their business. In addition, the TLD will permit Merck KGaA to maintain greater control over its online brand and services, including but not limited to robust trust and security features, especially for Merck’s online sales portals. In turn, those benefits are certain to result in a better Internet user experience, particularly for those Internet users interested in Merck KGaA’s research activities and products.

The “.EMERCK” TLD will additionally provide an online identity unique to the Merck KGaA parent company, which will help to set it apart from the activities undertaken in connection with the broader Merck Community. As the head of the Merck Group, Merck KGaA is involved in a vast number of projects, initiatives, and research activities. The “.EMERCK” space, therefore, would provide a location for information related to Merck KGaA specifically, serving as a resource for Internet users interested in the history of the company, for shareholders, and for business associates who deal directly with the parent company itself.

A. What is the goal of your proposed gTLD in terms of areas of specialty, service levels, or reputation?

The TLD ultimately is intended to function as Merck KGaA’s online branding and services platform. The space is intended to function with leading-edge technologies and business practices, ensuring a trustworthy and positive user experience. The goal is to use Merck KGaA’s online infrastructure, services and marketing to encourage Internet users to interact online with Merck KGaA.

All “.EMERCK” domain name registrations will incorporate the Domain Name Registration and Usage Policy for “.EMERCK,” which outlines the acceptable use guidelines for the space. A draft version of this Policy is provided in the answer to question 18(c) below. Such Policy will be further incorporated into any license agreement made between Merck and its authorized corporate divisions, employees or other affiliated entities who may from time to time be authorized to license the use of “.EMERCK” domain names. A licensed domain name may be revoked by Merck KGaA at any time if the licensee does not comply with the acceptable use requirements contained in the Policy, or any other contractual requirements as may be established in the particular license agreement.

B. What do you anticipate your proposed gTLD will add to the current space, in terms of competition, differentiation, or innovation?

The TLD will provide an alternative for Merck KGaA to the current TLDs, one which would be distinct to the company and its operations specifically. The branded nature of the TLD will serve as a differentiating force, both from undifferentiated spaces generally as well as from other Merck-related corporate locations. The “.EMERCK” space will be specifically dedicated to Merck’s online activities and “e-” presence, and accordingly Internet users will come to associate the space with Merck’s online portals for business communications and information exchange.

For example, Internet users seeking information on the corporate history, governance, or initiatives of Merck KGaA specifically, will be able to locate the company’s authentic online space with ease. The use of the TLD will reduce Internet user confusion, and will thereby saving time and resources when compared to the use of a generalized search engine.

As it seems 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 very use of a specialized TLD by Merck KGaA will ultimately impact competition by clarifying for users the source identity of the websites which they choose to visit. If consumers are looking for Merck, they know where to look, and they know that if they visit a website with an alternate extension the information is not guaranteed to be authentic.

This streamlining of information will provide a great benefit to the virtual marketplace. Consumers know where to look for authorized information concerning Merck KGaA and its activities, and can easily select appropriate websites when seeking such information. The new “.EMERCK” TLD space will therefore provide a tailored, customized space for Merck KGaA, its business affiliates, and the interested Internet community.

Additionally, the use of the “.EMERCK” TLD will have the added benefit of reducing the number of domain name registrations that Merck KGaA will need to register and maintain with existing registration providers. This effect, multiplied across the many companies who choose to own and operate their own TLDs, may as a side effect result in increased competition among the existing registration providers. They may need to compete more fiercely for the remaining business interest in the existing TLDs, with so many organizations offering use and⁄or registration of new TLD domain names. The logical effect should be lower pricing and better service for all Internet users.

The “.EMERCK” TLD will additionally enable Merck KGaA to develop many uses for domain names which today are too complicated or completely unforeseen. Today, it is often difficult to find a relevant and easily available domain name for the launch of a new product or campaign from existing registration providers. Even if one is found, pricing is often prohibitive because the domain name is only available on the secondary market. All new domains must be purchased from third parties and then managed as corporate assets. These expenses and complications, which can hinder companies and, in some cases, delay the release of innovative new products and services to the public, can be dramatically reduced over time. Furthermore, an ample supply of immediately available, inexpensive domain names relevant to Merck KGaA is likely to pay dividends in additional ways which are currently difficult to foresee.

Furthermore, the proposed “.EMERCK” TLD will be a “clean space” for consumers seeking information about Merck KGaA. Since Merck will have control over all of the registrations in the space, as the sole registrant of all domain names therein, there is minimal risk of abusive use of these domain names. There will be no opportunity for bad actors to sell dangerous counterfeit medications, or provide incorrect misinformation to potential investors. Internet users will find only authentic, Merck-authorized content within this space, providing them with a level of comfort and safety which the current gTLD landscape cannot give them.

C. What goals does your proposed gTLD have in terms of user experience?

The TLD ultimately is intended to serve as Merck KGaA’s online branding and services platform. Merck KGaA will implement leading-edge technologies and business practices tailored for this new space, in order to ensure a trustworthy and positive user experience for all visitors to the “.EMERCK” sites.

The goal is to use Merck’s online infrastructure, services and marketing to encourage Internet users to interact online with the company and to perceive the TLD as a trustworthy indicator of the source of Merck’s online information and services. Merck KGaA will use advanced technical and policy measures to ensure the security of online transactions and communications, and to ensure that domain names in the TLD are only used for authorized purposes. Merck intends to provide a safe and legitimate Internet space, enhancing user experience by mitigating security-associated risks. This is particularly important in the “.EMERCK” space as Merck intends to use the TLD as its online communications and business platform, and accordingly it is of great importance to the company that the space is operated in a safe and secure manner.

The TLD will reinforce the ideals of Merck KGaA, and domains within the TLD will only be used for purposes authorized by Merck. As indicated above, the “.EMERCK” space is intended to follow a single-registrant model, meaning that Merck KGaA will be the sole registrant of record for all domain names in the space. Accordingly, the company will have full control over how the websites displayed thereon will be used. The Internet user can therefore expect, when entering the “.EMERCK” TLD, to find authentic, up-to-date information displayed in an intuitive, easy-to-navigate fashion.

Thus, the “.EMERCK” space is designed to provide an unparalleled user experience in terms of reliability, ease of use, and online security.

D. Provide a complete description of the applicant’s intended registration policies in support of the goals listed above.

It is envisaged that Merck KGaA will be the sole registrant of domain names within the TLD, which will ensure that such domain names only are used for purposes authorized by Merck in its online brand promotion and customer service efforts. Additionally, the Corporate Trademark Department of Merck KGaA will review each applied-for second-level domain name string to ensure that it will further the goals of the company, that it will not violate the intellectual property rights or other rights of third parties, and that it will not violate existing laws. A draft version of the anticipated Domain Name Registration and Use Policy for the “.EMERCK” space is provided at the end of the answer to question 18(c).

E. Will your proposed gTLD impose any measures for protecting the privacy or confidential information of registrants or users?

Merck KGaA intends for users to perceive the TLD as a unique, trustworthy source of its online information and services. User trust is enhanced when said users are confident that they are in fact interacting with the intended website, and that their private or confidential information is securely protected. Merck intends to use advanced technical and policy measures to reasonably ensure the security of online transactions and communications, and to reasonably ensure that domain names in the TLD are only used for authorized purposes. Merck intends to provide a safe and legitimate Internet space, enhancing user experience by mitigating security-associated risks.

Merck intends to deploy DNSSEC and to comply with all of the other policies and practices required by ICANN in the Registry Agreement and⁄or via any Consensus Policy. Merck KGaA will also comply with all applicable laws and regulations relating to Internet security and the privacy of users’ confidential information.

Merck KGaA already employs commercially reasonable practices with respect to the security of online transactions and users’ private or confidential information in its current online locations. Additionally, Merck KGaA makes available a Corporate Privacy Officer, who oversees any potential privacy concerns, should they arise, and ensures that Merck’s practices remain industry-leading. For further information concerning privacy protections and data security within the “.EMERCK” space, please refer to the answers contained in sections 23, 30a and 30b below.

F. Describe whether and in what ways outreach and communications will help to achieve your projected benefits.

Within Merck KGaA, the “.EMERCK” TLD will be promoted by all available internal communication channels, including the company’s intranet, and through the relevant functions of the Corporate Trademarks and Corporate Information Services departments, inter alia. Additionally, Merck KGaA will communicate the space to its consumers through branding initiatives, marketing and advertising, which Merck believes will quickly introduce Internet users to the new space. The company anticipates using its new TLD on all marketing and promotional materials, encouraging users to interact with them on the new websites. Given the anticipated benefits of the new space and its effective navigational structure, Merck believes Internet users will readily adopt the TLD and look forward to visiting the space regularly.

Besides Merck KGaA’s own specific efforts to communicate the “.EMERCK” TLD to its intended audience, it will be the natural next step for its audience, and relevant media organizations, to further communicate information about the TLD as they speak or report about Merck. In sum, outreach and communication are important in order to achieve the projected benefits of the TLD, but also will be inherent in Merck’s use of the TLD, and further will be enhanced by the viral nature of communications about Merck KGaA.

As it seems there will be many other “.BRAND” TLDs presented to Internet users in the coming years, it is expected that the outreach, communications and media relating to each of them, individually, will lead to collective benefit insofar as many Internet users will quickly grasp the concept behind these TLDs, and will expect many companies and corporate communities to operate them in generally consistent ways.

Similar gTLD applications: (2)

gTLDFull Legal NameDetail
.merckMerck KGaAView
.dvagDeutsche Vermögensberatung Aktiengesellschaft DVAGView