18(a) Describe the mission/purpose of your proposed gTLD
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The content of this Answer to Question 18 set forth below which describes the plans for the .mcdonalds registry constitutes the “purpose” of the registry as that term is used in paragraph 1.b. of Specification 9 of the Draft New gTLD Registry Agreement found in Module 5 of the Applicant Guidebook (the “Purpose”). The primary mission and purpose of the new restricted .mcdonalds gTLD is to benefit internet users by ensuring increased trust and confidence through the elimination of user confusion and assurance of brand authenticity as set forth in this response to Question 18.
The new .mcdonalds gTLD will operate as a restricted registry, in which McDonald’s Corporation (McDonald’s) can create and control second level domain names that promote its brand identity and authenticity. .mcdonalds will be used to provide information and resources to consumers and employees in a way that promotes trust, confidence and convenience. The .mcdonalds gTLD will provide an authoritative internet space for the McDonald’s system. Second level domains can then be utilised to create additional sub-categorizations such as product and localised pages, with internet users assured of brand authenticity.
For the avoidance of doubt, the registry will be closed to registrants who are not within the McDonald’s system. Should a registrant leave the McDonald’s system, McDonald’s reserves the right to cancel the domain name. There will be no market for second level registrations outside of registrants who are within the McDonald’s system. In accordance with specification 9, paragraph 1(b) of the Registry Agreement, McDonalds will use an ICANN accredited registrar for the registration of domain names that are consistent with the management, operations and Purpose of the gTLD.
McDonald’s is the world’s leading food service retailer with over 33,000 restaurants serving 68 million people in 119 countries each day. In 2011, McDonald’s was ranked the fourth most valuable global brand by BrandZ with a brand value of over USD81 billion. McDonald’s operates a franchise business model with about 80% of McDonald’s restaurants independently owned and operated. McDonald’s opened its first restaurant in 1955 and listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1965. McDonald’s has grown exponentially to have a market capitalisation of around USD101 billion, 2010 revenue of USD24 billion and 1.7 million people employed globally. McDonald’s’ business model enables it to provide locally relevant restaurant experiences to customers and consistently deliver innovation and new products to meet customers’ changing needs and preferences. In this regard, brand reputation, consumer trust and continuous innovation are paramount considerations in all its activities. The .mcdonalds gTLD will promote McDonald’s as an innovative organization, help customers to connect with the McDonald’s brand online and provide customers with streamlined and easily accessible information. These goals will be complemented by McDonald’s separate application for the new .mcd gTLD.
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 have also become more sophisticated resulting in loss of consumer confidence beyond mere monetary harm. .mcdonalds will facilitate greater trust and assurance from internet users connecting with McDonald’s online, whilst still allowing convenient and efficient interaction.
McDonald’s mission and Purpose of the new gTLD share ICANN’s initiatives to promote the public interest. McDonald’s is committed to contribute towards achieving such initiatives in line with ICANN’s Affirmation of Commitments, which includes:
- consumer trust: the .mcdonalds registry will be operated in a centralised manner with a restrictive registration policy. Registration of domain names will only be available to registrants within the McDonald’s system. This restriction will provide added consumer confidence that content located at .mcdonalds domain names is trustworthy. As .mcdonalds domain names are subject to registration standards, policies and procedures under McDonald’s control, this greatly reduces or eliminates the possibility of malicious conduct within the .mcdonalds domain space;
- competition: the 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 the public interest through its operation focused on promoting consumer trust. Increased trust in .mcdonalds may 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 gTLD will enable user-driven improvements and innovations assisting McDonald’s marketing efforts through its ability to create new second level domain names on demand. These names will provide consumers with more choices for interacting with McDonald’s. As McDonald’s has effective control over the registration and use of domain names under the .mcdonalds domain space, this will also contribute towards general service innovations on the internet.
Given the restricted nature of the .mcdonalds gTLD, the projected number of registrations is likely to be limited. It is anticipated that no more than 100 domain names will be registered in the first year. However, over the next few years, the number of registrations may increase to about 500 domain names.
McDonald’s will retain control of all domain names and continue to comply with all operational, technical and policy requirements. McDonald’s will keep ICANN reasonably informed of any material developments relating to .mcdonalds including compliance with the continued operations instrument obligations.
McDonald’s intends to create locally relevant and geographic domain names. In accordance with registration policy and the proposed measures for protection of geographic names as outlined in response to Question 22, McDonald’s will use geographic names to localise its websites in countries in which it currently operates. The use of geographic names is intended to connect internet users with relevant information as applicable to the territory.
McDonald’s does not currently intend to use Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) at the second level. However, as the use of.mcdonalds evolves, McDonald’s may use IDNs to allow internet users to engage with .mcdonalds in their native language, creating a more positive user experience and encouraging diversity.
McDonald’s is a universally-recognised global brand with its “McDonald’s” trademark registered in more than 170 countries and territories for a wide variety of goods and services in numerous International Classes.
McDonald’s has existing domain names with an exact match to its “McDonald’s” trademark and the applied-for .mcdonalds string in the following spaces:
- gTLDs: mcdonalds.com, mcdonalds.biz, mcdonalds.org, mcdonalds.jobs, mcdonalds.tel, mcdonalds.mobi and mcdonalds.asia (among others)
- ccTLDs: mcdonalds.ac, mcdonalds.co, mcdonalds.com.au, mcdonalds.co.uk, mcdonalds.co.za, mcdonalds.do, mcdonalds.com.do, mcdonalds.com.ec, mcdonalds.com.kz, mcdonalds.com.mx, mcdonalds.com.pe, mcdonalds.com.pr, mcdonalds.ie, mcdonalds.it, mc-donalds.nl, mcdonalds.pk, mcdonalds.sg, mcdonalds.us and mcdonalds.vn (among others)
Further, McDonald’s recently filed a successful application to block the registration of several .xxx domain names, including mcdonalds.xxx, based on its existing trademark registrations.
Similar gTLD applications: (1)
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