18(a) Describe the mission/purpose of your proposed gTLD
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THE MISSION AND PURPOSE OF THE NEW RESTRICTED .ABB gTLD IS TO BENEFIT INTERNET USERS BY ENSURING INCREASED TRUST AND CONFIDENCE THROUGH THE ELIMINATION OF USER CONFUSION AND ASSURANCE OF BRAND AUTHENTICITY.
The new .abb gTLD will operate as a restricted registry, in which ABB Ltd (ABB) can create and control domain spaces to strengthen the ABB Group’s brand identity and authenticity. In this regard .abb will be used by ABB to provide information, services and resources to customers in a way that promotes trust, convenience, assurance of brand authenticity and utility. The .abb gTLD will provide an authoritative internet space for ABB, its affiliates and partners that are associated with the brand. Second and third level domain names can then be utilised to provide a coherent structure in ABB’s online presence using categories such as geographical indicator, product, industry sector solution or functional subsections. Internet users will benefit from ease of navigation, user friendly interaction together with an assurance of brand authenticity in the .abb domain space.
The ABB Group (consisting of ABB and approximately 300 subsidiaries worldwide) is one of the world’s leading engineering companies specialized in power and automation technologies aimed at improving performance and lowering the environmental impact for its customers. The ABB Group was formed in 1988 through a merger of two existing companies (Asea AB established in 1883) and BBC Brown Boveri AG (established in 1891). In 1999 the ABB Group was restructured with the establishment of a single ultimate parent company, namely ABB Ltd. This parent company is listed on the Zurich, Stockholm and the New York stock exchanges. The ABB Group is a global company with presence in more than 100 countries worldwide. The ABB Group provides a wide range of products, systems, solutions and services related to transmission and distribution of electricity, power plant automation and robotics. ABB was listed as one of the world’s best companies in 2009 by BusinessWeek and also listed as one of the top 100 Global Innovators by Thomson Reuters in 2011. ABB is widely recognised as one of the leading companies with inventions on top 100 Global Innovators. As innovation and quality are the key characteristics of ABB’s products, systems, and services offerings, consumer trust and continuous innovation are paramount considerations in all its activities.
Business activities are increasingly conducted over the internet, allowing for greater levels of interaction between businesses and customers. As a result, both businesses and end users benefit from ease of interaction and a wider range of choices with lower transaction costs. However, the development in this arena in the current domain name system has exposed both businesses and customers to increased criminal activities over the internet, including data breach, hacking and phishing. These sophisticated criminal activities cause reputational damage to businesses as internet users lose consumer confidence and trust with the businesses targeted by such criminal activities. The .abb gTLD will facilitate greater trust and assurance from internet users connecting with ABB online, whilst still allowing convenient and efficient interaction.
ABB’s mission and purpose of the proposed new gTLD share ICANN’s initiatives to promote public interest. ABB is committed to contribute towards achieving such initiatives in line with ICANN’s Affirmation of Commitments, which includes:
- consumer trust: the .abb gTLD registry will be operated in a centralised manner with a restrictive registration policy. Registration of domain names will initially only be available to ABB and its affiliated entities which will provide added consumer trust that .abb domain names are trustworthy. As .abb domain names are subject to registration standards, policies and procedures under ABB’s control, this eliminates the possibility of malicious conduct within the .abb domain space;
- competition: the .abb gTLD is not intended to instigate competition and consumer choice among prospective registrants. Instead it is anticipated to contribute to ICANN’s initiatives to promote public interest through its operation focused on strengthening consumer trust. Increased trust in .abb 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 ABB’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 ABB. As ABB has effective control over the registration and use of domain names under .abb domain space, this will also contribute towards general service innovations on the internet.
Given the restricted nature of the .abb gTLD, the projected number of registrations is likely to be limited. It is anticipated that a rather limited number of domain names (around 5) will be registered in the first year. However, over the next few years, the number of registrations is likely to increase up to 1000 domain names as ABB develops and implements new services and marketing campaigns. If the market matures ABB may consider, at a later stage, offering the use of second level domain names to its eligible business partners. ABB will keep ICANN reasonably informed of any material developments relating to .abb including compliance with the continued operations instrument obligations as set out in Specification 8 of the Registry Agreement.
ABB intends to create relevant domain names for use including geographic names, product and service 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, ABB will use geographic names to localise its websites in the countries relevant to ABB’s current and future operations. 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.
“ABB” is a well-recognised global brand with its trademarks registered in approximately 190 countries and territories in 31 classes worldwide. Protection of ABB’s core business has been claimed in the following classes: 7 (machines and machine tools), 9 (apparatus and instruments for conducting, switching, transforming, accumulating, regulating or controlling electricity; software), 35 (advertising; business management), 37 (building construction; repair; installation services) and 42 (scientific and technological services and research and design relating thereto).
ABB has an extensive domain name portfolio with a broad territorial coverage in over 340 ccTLDs and 10 gTLDs to ensure that the “ABB” brand and trademark are represented with authenticity to the internet users. ABB’s existing domain names with exact match to the “ABB” trademark include – but are not limited to -, the following:
- gTLDs: com, biz, net, org,
- ccTLDs: us, ch, co.uk, ru, com.ar, nl, cn, de
Additionally, ABB has domain names registered in over 50 ccTLDs and 120 gTLDs containing the “ABB” trademark.
Recently, ABB was successful in securing sunrise application for the following domain spaces based on existing trademark registration: xxx (blocked), mobi, me, asia, qa.
ABB believes that the .abb gTLD is unlikely to cause confusion with either a generic term or any existing TLDs. The “ABB” trademark is a leading global brand with significant reputation worldwide. ABB has the highest priority trademark rights worldwide and is the largest company known under the “ABB” brand. The “ABB” brand is well known as a global leader in countries all around the world.
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