18(a) Describe the mission/purpose of your proposed gTLD
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The mission and purpose of the new restricted .softbank gTLD is to achieve strengthened integrity and trust from users and provide them with appropriate benefits and values by operating online businesses with more relevant, secure and user oriented features.
The new .softbank gTLD will operate as a restricted registry, in which SOFTBANK CORP. (Softbank) can create and control domain names under the .softbank domain space that promote Softbankʹs brand identity and authenticity. In this regard, .softbank will be used by Softbank to provide information, services and resources to consumers in a way that promotes trust, convenience and utility. The new .softbank gTLD is applied to be used as Internet vehicle for Softbank and consolidated subsidiaries which have met necessary criteria set forth by Softbank (licensed companies). Internet vehicle means websites of information disclosure and online businesses operated by the licensed companies, which are to be managed by Softbankʹs websites quality management standard and are designed to improve the integrity of Softbank brand.
Softbank will serve as a registry which creates and manages .softbank domain names soon after the application has approved. .softbank is intended to be used as an official domain of websites for the licensed companies to provide credible information regarding Softbank to all the Internet users who access to these Websites. Second level domains in .softbank will be used for administrative purpose in accordance with Softbankʹs websites quality management standard and strings for domain names are intended to be set as names of the licensed companies, names of goods and services or those strings which explicitly demonstrate the usage.
Softbank group of companies (Softbank Group) which consists of Softbank, its consolidated subsidiaries, and affiliates, headquartered in Japan, is engaged in various internet, information and communication services, including: the provision of mobile networks, broadband infrastructure, fixed-line telecommunications, distribution of internet and telecommunication related products, and the promotion and application of wider internet culture in internet advertising, e-commerce and membership services. Softbank Group consists of 178 subsidiaries and 92 affiliates (both figures are as of March 2011). Softbankʹs mobile and network business is one of the largest communication carriers in Japan and Softbank aims to be the number one provider of mobile internet services throughout Asia.
SOFTBANK MOBILE Corp., one of the consolidated subsidiaries of Softbank offers the mobile network business under ʺSoftbankʺ brand which has 27,830,000 mobile users (as of the end of December 2011). Mobile units which bear ʺSoftbankʺ brand are sold in 2,677 stores (as of the end of December 2011) throughout Japan. SOFTBANK MOBILE Corp. continuously implements an exceptional communication including 86 different kinds of annual TV commercials and tops the list for the fifth year running (unprecedented) for the popularity ratings for TV commercial, and as a result of these business activities, the ʺSoftbankʺ brand has gained a high recognition. This is supported by the subsidiary SOFTBANK HAWKS Corp., which operates a professional baseball team, which also contributes to the recognition of the Softbank brand. As for objective evaluations of these ʺSoftbankʺ brands, they are also confirmed that the ʹSoftBankʹ brand was ranked third in the survey ʺJapanʹs Best Domestic Brands 2011ʺ conducted by Interbrand.
The .softbank gTLD intends to provide the relevant information in a timely and efficient manner to business users, customers, investors and employees and other internet users to access information on Softbank online. The .softbank gTLD will enable Softbank to have greater control over the operation of the registry to improve security, service levels and reputation.
Softbank shares ICANNʹs initiatives to promote public interest. Softbank is committed to contribute towards achieving such initiatives in line with ICANNʹs Affirmation of Commitments, which includes:
- consumer trust: the .softbank gTLD registry will be managed and operated by the dedicated team within Softbank in accordance with a restrictive registration policy prepared by Softbank. Softbank will demonstrate to the internet users that .softbank domain names are trustworthy through its centrally managed registration, modification and deletion of domain names. Therefore, .softbank domain names will avoid the possibility of malicious conduct within the .softbank domain space;
- competition: the proposed new gTLD is not intended to instigate competition and consumer choice, at the level of domain name registration, among prospective registrants. Instead it is anticipated to enhance consumer trust through its precise and secure operation. Increased trust in .softbank 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 Softbankʹs marketing efforts through its ability to create new second and third level domain names on demand, with well-recognized and memorable .softbank domain names. These names will provide the consumers with more choices for interacting with Softbank in a user-friendly manner. As Softbank has effective control over the registration and use of domain names under .softbank domain space, this will also contribute towards general service innovations on the internet and create synergies to in achieving ICANNʹs initiatives
In order to ensure that .softbank domain space represents brand authenticity and consumer trust, it is anticipated that up to 20 domain names will be registered in the first year, which will increase up to 100 domain names by the end of third year.
The licensed companies will participate in the promotion of user recognition and increased use of .softbank domain names through the use of various communication methods. As the use and recognition of the .softbank gTLD expands Softbank may consider providing second or third level domains to companies other than the licensed companies at a later date. Softbank will keep ICANN reasonably informed of any material developments relating to the .softbank gTLD, including compliance with the continued operations instrument obligations as set out in Specification 8 of the Registry Agreement.
Softbank intends to create relevant domain names for use including company names, product names, services or geographic names in the second or third level domain names. In accordance with registration policies and the proposed measures for protection of geographic names as outlined in response to Question 22, Softbank will use geographic names to localize 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; and
- comply with required law, regulations and business custom in the national territory.
Softbank is a well-recognized global brand with its trademarks registered in 32 countries and territories, throughout Asia, North America, Latin America, Africa, Oceania and Europe. These trademarks, such as classes 9, 38 and 41, are registered under the categories required for its business in telecommunications services and infrastructure. Further, Softbank has an extensive portfolio of existing domain names, including domain names with an exact match or containing the Softbank trademark in the following spaces:
- gTLDs: .biz, .com, .info, .mobi, .net, .org,
- ccTLDs: .bj.jp, .cc, .cn, .co.jp, .jp, .ne.jp, .sg, .tv, .uk
Recently, Softbank was successful in securing sunrise application for the .xxx domain space based on existing trademark registration.
Similar gTLD applications: (0)
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