18(c) What operating rules will you adopt to eliminate or minimize social costs?

Prototypical answer:

gTLDFull Legal NameDetail
.emerckMerck KGaAView

The TLD ultimately is intended to function as Merck’s online branding and services platform. It is intended to function with leading-edge technologies and business practices, ensuring a trustworthy and positive user experience. The goal is to use Merck’s online infrastructure, services and marketing to encourage Internet users to interact online with Merck and the other members of the Merck Community. Precise details are set forth in the answers to Questions 26, 28 and 29.

In general, Merck KGaA intends for users to perceive the TLD as a trustworthy and intuitive indicator of the source of Merck KGaA’s online information and services. Merck KGaA intends to use advanced technical and policy measures to ensure the security and reliability of online transactions and communications taking place on domains within the TLD, and to ensure that domain names in the TLD are only used for purposes authorized by Merck KGaA. Merck KGaA intends to provide a safe and trustworthy Internet space, enhancing user experience by mitigating security-associated risks.

The TLD is designed to reinforce the ideals of Merck KGaA, and to operate as the company’s online e-business and communications portal. Accordingly, domain usage guidelines will be implemented and enforced to constantly ensure the integrity of users’ “.EMERCK” experience and the reputation of the TLD.

Merck may, from time to time and in its sole discretion, elect to license domain name registrations to its authorized corporate divisions, business affiliates, subsidiaries, associates, employees, or other affiliated entities in order to further the business interests of the company. All domain name registrations and license agreements shall incorporate the usage requirements set out in the Domain Name Registration and Usage Policy for “.EMERCK,” a draft version of which is provided at the end of this section. Merck KGaA intends that no domain name in the “.EMERCK” space shall be used in a manner which:

- infringes any other third parties rights
- is in breach with any applicable laws, government rules or requirements

or for the purposes of:

- undertaking any illegal or fraudulent actions, including spam or phishing activities, or
- defaming Merck KGaA or its businesses, affiliates, dealers, employees, etc.

The “.EMERCK” domain space shall be used for the benefit of the Merck company and, as the space will follow a single-registrant model, Merck KGaA will remain the registrant of record for all registered domain names in the space. Merck KGaA will have the right to cancel any domain name registration or revoke any domain name license agreement should Merck deem such action appropriate for the benefit of the company.

The content and use of all registered “.EMERCK” domain names will be monitored by Merck on an ongoing basis, and compliance with the contractual restrictions and guidelines will be enforced. Violations of any restrictions, guidelines or other contractual conditions may result in termination of the relevant domain name license.

Merck KGaA will implement a Sunrise period of 30 days for the purpose of complying with ICANN requirements. However, because the Registry Operator will be the sole registrant within this space, there will be no other registrants eligible to reserve or register domain names during this period. The Registry Operator will develop and implement an appropriate Sunrise Dispute Resolution Policy (SDRP), containing the elements specified by ICANN, for the resolution of any disputes which might in theory arise during this period.

During the initial launch period, for no less than 60 days, a Trademark Claims Services system will be in place as required by ICANN. During this period there will be a notice sent to Merck KGaA of any “.EMERCK” domain name, prior to its registration, should such domain name constitute an identical match of a mark registered in the Trademark Clearinghouse. Moreover the right owner or owners, as recorded in the Trademark Clearinghouse, will be informed once any such domain name has been registered following this event.


A. How will multiple applications for a particular domain name be resolved, for example, by auction or on a first-come⁄first-serve basis?

All domain name registrations within the “.EMERCK” space will be held by Merck KGaA itself. Merck KGaA may, in its sole discretion, from time to time elect to license the use of “.EMERCK” domain names to its authorized corporate divisions, business affiliates, subsidiaries, associates, employees or other affiliated entities, but Merck KGaA shall be the registrant of record for all domain names within the TLD space. All such licensees shall be required to use the domains for the purposes specified by Merck KGaA under the terms of their relevant license agreements. Merck KGaA will maintain, at all times, control over the content and use of the domains within the new TLD, and will remain the sole registrant of record.

This single-registrant system will ensure that the TLD remains a tightly controlled, safe space for Internet users, and will ensure that the network of registrations remains well-organized. These protections will naturally inure to the benefit of Internet users who wish to interact or communicate with Merck KGaA online.


B. Explain any cost benefits for registrants you intend to implement (e.g., advantageous pricing, introductory discounts, bulk registration discounts).

As outlined above, all domain name registrations in the TLD space will be held by Merck KGaA itself, and pricing (if any) of domain registrations will be a matter of Merck KGaA policy.


C. Do you intend to make contractual commitments to registrants regarding the magnitude of price escalation?

As noted above, Merck KGaA will be the sole holder of all domain name registrations in the TLD. Accordingly, the company does not intend to make specific commitments regarding the magnitude of price escalation.


D. Full text draft version of the anticipated Domain Name Registration and Usage Policy for “.EMERCK” is provided below.

Anticipated Domain Name Registration and Use Policy for “.EMERCK”

D.1 General principles

D.1.1 Purpose

The “.EMERCK” Top Level Domain (ʺTLDʺ) established by and for the use of the Merck KGaA Corporation, the Registry Operator for the TLD space. Merck KGaA will, with the advice and assistance of the Registry Service Provider Afilias Limited and relevant governmental bodies, develop, maintain and enforce effective TLD management strategies to manage the “.EMERCK” space.

This Policy is intended to be updated and revised regularly to reflect the needs of Merck KGaA and its TLD. The current version of this Policy will be made publicly available at: [insert website when determined].

The registration of domain names within the “.EMERCK” TLD shall be restricted to Merck KGaA itself, thus following a single-registrant model. Merck KGaA may, in its sole discretion, elect to license registrations within this space to, inter alia, authorized corporate divisions, employees or other affiliated entities.

D.1.2. Registration Policy

As indicated above, the “.EMERCK” space will follow a single-registrant model. Thus, the Merck KGaA Corporation shall be the only entity eligible to register domain names within the “.EMERCK” TLD.

D.2 Domain Allocation Rules

D.2.1. String Requirements

Second-Level Domain names within the “.EMERCK” TLD must only include hyphens in the third and fourth position if they represent valid internationalized domain names in their ASCII encoding (for example ʺxn--ndk061nʺ), and must otherwise comply with any other applicable ICANN requirements.

D.2.2. Reserved Names

- The label “EXAMPLE” shall be reserved at the second level and at all other levels within the TLD at which Registry Operator makes registrations
- Two-character labels. All two-character labels shall be initially reserved. The reservation of a two-character label string may be released to the extent that Registry Operator reaches agreement with the government and country-code manager. The Registry Operator may also propose release of these reservations based on its implementation of measures to avoid confusion with the corresponding country codes
- Second-Level Reservations for Registry Operations. The following names are reserved for use in connection with the operation of the registry for the TLD: NIC, WWW, IRIS and WHOIS
- The List of Reserved Names shall be compiled by Merck KGaA and will be publicly posted online at [ website to be determined ]. Merck KGaA reserves the right to include new names in the list of reserved names

D.3 Country and Territory Names

The country and territory names contained in the following internationally recognized lists shall be initially reserved at the second level and at all other levels within the TLD at which the Registry Operator provides for registrations:

1. the short form (in English) of all country and territory names contained on the ISO 3166-1 list, as updated from time to time, including the European Union, which is exceptionally reserved on the ISO 3166-1 list, and its scope extended in August 1999 to any application needing to represent the name European Union ;
2. the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names, Technical Reference Manual for the Standardization of Geographical Names, Part III Names of Countries of the World; and
3. the list of United Nations member states in 6 official United Nations languages prepared by the Working Group on Country Names of the United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names; provided, that the reservation of specific country and territory names may be released to the extent that Registry Operator reaches agreement with the applicable government(s), provided, further, that Registry Operator may also propose release of these reservations, subject to review by ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee and approval by ICANN.


E. Registration and Licensing Rules

E.1 Registration period and renewals

An “.EMERCK” domain name may be registered, and renewed at the end of each registration period, subject to the current terms and conditions offered by the concerned Registrar.

E.2. Licensing of domain name registrations

Merck KGaA may, in its sole discretion, elect to license domain name registrations within the “.EMERCK” space to, inter alia, authorized corporate divisions, employees or other affiliated entities. In all cases, however, Merck KGaA will remain the registrant of record for all domain name registrations within the TLD, and shall retain the authority to modify or terminate such registrations at any time via the concerned registrar.


F. Acceptable Usage Guidelines for “.EMERCK” Domain Names

F.1 Acceptable Use

The “.EMERCK” space is intended to function as the Merck KGaA’s online corporate branding platform, and as such the registrations therein should generally support the goals and mission of the organization.

Merck KGaA intends that no domain name in the “.EMERCK” space shall be used in a manner which:

- infringes any other third parties rights
- is in breach with any applicable laws, government rules or requirements

or for the purposes of:

- undertaking any illegal or fraudulent actions, including spam or phishing activities, or
- defaming Merck KGaA or its businesses, affiliates, dealers, employees, etc.

The Corporate Trademark Department of Merck KGaA will routinely monitor the use of all domain names registered in the “.EMERCK” space to ensure that the content displayed thereon is in the best interests of the company and its business endeavours.


G. Dispute Resolution Policies

G.1 Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (ʺUDRPʺ)

The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (ʺUDRPʺ) shall apply to any challenges to registered domain names on the grounds that: 1) such domain names are identical or confusingly similar to a trademark in which the complainant has rights, 2) the registrant lacks rights or legitimate interests in the domain name, and 3) the domain name has been registered and used in bad faith. The full text of the UDRP is located at the following address: http:⁄⁄www.icann.org⁄dndr⁄udrp⁄policy.htm

G.2 Uniform Rapid Suspension System (“URS”)

The Uniform Rapid Suspension System (“URS”) shall apply to any challenges to registered domain names on the grounds that: 1) such domain names are identical or confusingly similar to a trademark in which the complainant has rights, 2) the registrant lacks rights or legitimate interests in the domain name, and 3) the domain name has been registered and used in bad faith. The full text of the URS is located at the following address: [insert website when available].

G.3 Trademark Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedure (Trademark PDDRP)

The Registry Operator for “.EMERCK” shall agree to be bound by the Trademark Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedure (Trademark PDDRP). The Trademark PDDRP applies to challenges by trademark holders claiming that one or more of its marks have been infringed, and thereby the trademark holder has been harmed, by the registry operator’s manner of operation or use of the gTLD. The full text of the Trademark PDDRP is located at the following address: [insert website when available].

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