18(a) Describe the mission/purpose of your proposed gTLD
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THE MISSION AND PURPOSE OF THE NEW RESTRICTED .MONSTER GTLD IS TO BENEFIT INTERNET USERS BY ENSURING INCREASED ONLINE TRUST AND CONFIDENCE THROUGH THE ELIMINATION OF USER CONFUSION AND ASSURANCE OF BRAND AUTHENTICITY.
The .monster gTLD will create a new generation gTLD serving the interests of end users by providing an authoritative Internet space where information about Monster Inc. (Monster), its products and brands will be closely controlled by Monster. The majority of the anticipated domain name registrations in the .monster gTLD will be used in the promotion and communication of the Monster brand and products. 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.
Established in 1978 by Noel Lee and headquartered in California, US, Monster is the world’s leading manufacturer of consumer electronics accessories, specializing in innovative, high-tech devices that deliver exceptional performance. Monster products dominate the high-quality headphone and audio⁄video connectivity categories by significant margins, while maintaining a commanding presence in power solutions, mobile accessories, and audio speakers.
Monster has approximately 650 employees, mostly located in the US headquarters, but with offices in Ireland and Hong Kong and regional sales and marketing offices in Moscow, Paris, and London. Monster also has three subsidiaries (Monster LLC, Monster Cable International Ltd., and Monster Technology International Ltd).
Among its many successes, Monster worked with 5-time Grammy award winner Dr. Dre and Interscope Geffen A&M Chairman Jimmy Iovine to create the best-selling Monster Beats by Dr. Dre headphone line, greatly increasing its presence in the marketplace and its reputation among consumers. Monster has continued to innovate with ‘Turbine Pro In-Ear Speakers’, the first in-ear headphones geared for use by music professionals and audiophiles. Monster is committed to improving the music listening experience and has earned a strong following in the industry, offering over 4,000 products sold in 80 countries. In this regard, consumer trust and continuous innovation are paramount considerations in all its activities.
Since the inception of the current domain name system, business activities conducted on the internet are constantly changing and evolving with increased complexity. 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, along with a well-documented criminal industry of counterfeit Monster products and websites, have also become more sophisticated, resulting in loss of consumer confidence beyond mere monetary harm. The .monster gTLD will facilitate greater trust and assurance from internet users connecting with Monster online, whilst still allowing convenient and efficient interaction.
Monster’s mission and purpose of the proposed new gTLD share ICANN’s initiatives to promote public interest. Monster is committed to contribute towards achieving such initiatives in line with ICANN’s Affirmation of Commitments, which includes:
- consumer trust: the .monster gTLD registry will be operated in a centralised manner with a restrictive registration policy. Registration of domain names will only be available to Monster and its affiliate entities, at this stage, which will provide added consumer trust that .monster domain names are trustworthy. As .monster domain names are subject to registration standards, policies and procedures under Monster’s control, this eliminates the possibility of malicious conduct within the .monster 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 and confidence. Increased trust in the .monster 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 Monster’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 Monster. As Monster has effective control over the registration and use of domain names under .monster domain space, this will also contribute towards general service innovations on the internet.
Given the restricted nature of the .monster gTLD, the projected number of registrations is likely to be limited. It is anticipated that a more limited number of domain names (50) will be registered in the first year. However, over the next few years, the number of registrations is likely to increase to about 500 domain names as Monster develops and implements new services and marketing campaigns.
Monster 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, Monster will use geographic names to localise its websites in the countries in which it has operations and targets customers. The use of geographic names is intended to:
- connect internet users with relevant information as applicable to the territory; and
- comply with required rules and regulations in the national territory.
Monster does not intend to utilise Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) at the second level initially. However, as the use of the .monster gTLD evolves, Monster may utilise IDNs to allow internet users to engage with .monster in their native language, creating a more positive user experience and encouraging diversity.
Monster is a well-recognised global brand with over 200 major US and international trademarks registered in over 35 countries and territories, including products in the following categories: 9 (apparatus for recording, transmitting, powering, or reproducing sound), 25 (clothing), 16 (plastic materials for packaging (not included in other classes).
Further, Monster has over 1,000 existing domain names including the “Monster” trademark such as: m-o-n-s-t-e-r.com, monster-cable.com, monsterheadphones.com, monstercable.cn, monsterpower.us
Recently, Monster was successful in securing sunrise application in the .xxx domain space based on existing trademark registration.
Monster believes that the .monster gTLD is unlikely to cause confusion with either a generic term or any existing TLDs. Monster trademarks are a leading global brand with over 200 trademarks registered in over 35 countries. Monster has a significant reputation as a leading headphone manufacturer and has been associating its business with the ‘Monster’ brand for 34 years with its products sold in over 80 countries worldwide.
Similar gTLD applications: (0)
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