18(a) Describe the mission/purpose of your proposed gTLD
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THE MISSION AND PURPOSE OF THE NEW RESTRICTED .LUPIN 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 .lupin gTLD will operate as a restricted registry, in which Lupin Limited (Lupin) can create and control domain spaces that promote its brand identity and authenticity. In this regard, the .lupin gTLD will be used by Lupin to provide information, services and resources to consumers in a way that promotes and builds trust; facilitates ease of access & use, and utility. The .lupin gTLD will provide an authoritative internet space for Lupin and, potentially, its affiliates and partners that are associated with the brand. Second and third level domains can then be utilised for personalised marketing and brand campaigning purposes, with internet users assured of brand authenticity.
Established in 1968, Lupin is an innovation led transnational pharmaceutical company producing a wide range of quality, affordable generic and branded formulations and APIs. The Company today has significant global presence in the Cardiovascular, Diabetology, Asthma, Pediatrics, CNS, GI, Anti-Infectives and NSAID space in addition to holding global leadership positions in the Anti-TB and Cephalosporin segments. Today, Lupin is the 5th largest and fastest growing generics player in the US (5.1% market share by prescriptions, IMS Health), the only Asian company to achieve that distinction. The company is also the fastest growing top 10 pharmaceutical player in India, Japan and South Africa (IMS Health). Headquartered in India, Lupin’s drugs and products reach over 100 countries in the world. . Lupin’s world class manufacturing facilities, spread across India and Japan, have played a critical role in enabling companies realise its global aspirations. Lupin is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India. For the financial year ended March 2011, Lupinʹs Consolidated Revenues stood at INR Rs.57,068 Million (USD 1.28 Billion). Going forward, Lupin seeks to continue to focus on identifying and developing niche segments, a differentiated product portfolio in all its chosen markets backed up by strategic partnerships and in-licensing, and investment in new areas to build and consolidate on its position as a global pharmaceutical powerhouse. In this regard, consumer trust and continuous innovation remain paramount considerations in all of Lupin’s 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, rapid growth in penetration and progress in this area within the current domain name system has exposed both businesses and consumers to increased criminal activities over the internet, including access to authentic products & information, data breach, hacking and phishing. These sophisticated criminal activities cause reputational damage to businesses as internet users and customers at a larger level tend to lose confidence and trust with the businesses targeted by such criminal activities. The .lupin gTLD will facilitate greater trust and assurance from internet users connecting with Lupin online, whilst still allowing convenient and efficient interaction.
Lupin’s mission and purpose of the proposed new gTLD share ICANN’s initiatives to promote public interest. Lupin is committed to contribute towards achieving such initiatives in line with ICANN’s Affirmation of Commitments, which includes:
- consumer trust: the .lupin gTLD registry will be operated in a centralised manner with a restrictive registration policy. Registration of domain names will only be available to Lupin, at this stage, which will provide added consumer trust that .lupin domain names are trustworthy. As .lupin domain names are subject to registration standards, policies and procedures under Lupin’s control, this eliminates the possibility of malicious conduct within the .lupin 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. Increased trust in the .lupin 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 Lupin’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 Lupin. As Lupin has effective control over the registration and use of domain names under .lupin domain space, this will also contribute towards general service innovations on the internet.
Given the restricted nature of the .lupin gTLD, the projected number of registration is likely to be limited. It is anticipated that a more limited number of 5 domain names will be registered in the first year. However, over the next few years, the number of registrations is likely to increase to about 15 domain names as Lupin develops and implements new services and marketing campaigns.
Lupin 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, Lupin will use geographic names to localise its websites in the countries in which it operates, such as US, Australia and Japan. The use of geographic names is intended to:
- define and articulate Lupin’s presence in the national territory;
- connect internet users with relevant information as applicable to the territory; and
- comply with required rules and regulations in the national territory.
Lupin does not intend to utilise Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) at the second level initially. However, as the use of the .lupin gTLD evolves, Lupin may wish to utilise IDNs to allow internet users to engage with .lupin in their native language, creating a more positive user experience and encouraging diversity.
Lupin is a well-recognised global pharmaceutical brand with its “Lupin” trademark registered by its subsidiaries such as Lupin (Europe) Ltd, UK, and Lupin Pharmaceuticals Inc., US, in 30 countries and territories including EU, US and India for classes such as Pharmaceuticals (Class 5); Medical apparatus (Class 10) and Medical, beauty & agricultural (Class 44). Lupin also has pending applications for “Lupin” to be trademarked in the same classes.
Lupin has an existing domain name with an exact match to the applied-for .lupin string and its “Lupin” trademark in lupin.co.in. Lupin and its subsidiaries also have 12 existing domain names containing the “Lupin” trademark in spaces such as lupinworld.com, lupinpharma.biz and lupinusa.com.
Lupin believes that the .lupin gTLD is unlikely to cause confusion with either a generic term or any existing TLDs. Lupin trademarks are a leading global pharmaceutical brand with significant reputation in various markets like India, US, Europe, Japan and Australia. In a recent High Court decision in Bombay, India, in 2011, the Court recognised that Lupin’s “Lupin” trademark is a well-known mark. Further, Lupin has used the term “Lupin” in conjunction with its pharmaceutical businesses for over 40 years. As such, the .lupin brand is a well-known brand.
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