As a result of ICANNÛªs IDN ccTLD Fast Track process, which was launched in November of last year, a number of new ccIDNs (Country Code Internationalized Domain Names) have been successfully added to the root including: China (.ü_Ý_, .ü_ÏÜ), Egypt (.ôÉ¯µ¯±), Hong Kong (._ª¾üø ), Russia (.Ûã), Saudi Arabia (.¯¤ôã¯_¯_ôö¯øô_¯©), Taiwan (.¡¾__, .¡£) and the UAE (.¯¤ôÉ¯¤¯±¯¤¯»).
And earlier this month, five additional countries / territories were approved by the ICANN Board including: Sri Lanka (.¨à¨_¨ªø¨¥øö), Thailand (._ãüÑü¢), Palestinian Territory (.ôôã¯_¯áô_ô ), Tunisia (.¯»ôöô ¯_) and Jordan (.¯¤ôã¯¤¯±¯øô ).
With so many new registration possibilities available, and several Sunrise periods quickly approaching, many corporate domain managers are asking themselves whether new registrations should be added to portfolios which are already bursting at the seams.
For the most part, the answer is it depends.
Some brands are never translated, transliterated or transcribed into other languages and always appear using Latin script. In those instances, registering ccIDNs to protect brands may not make sense at all.
However, reviewing non-Latin trademark portfolios is an important step in determining which ccIDNs should be registered. This can provide a definitive list of names for registration and offers a good starting point.
In addition to researching trademark registrations, reaching out to regional marketing groups can also provide valuable information about where and how brands are actively marketed. Information obtained may be of critical importance in deciding whether a new registration is really necessary.
Regional marketing groups may also be able to assist in identifying generic terms that should be registered along with the brand. I recently heard of a domainer who was very excited because he had registered Û÷World CupÛª using a non-Latin script. Unfortunately, only later did he find out that what he actually registered was Û÷World GlassÛª which did not have the same meaning at all.
Clearly with this ever-expanding namespace, the opportunities for cybersquatting are increasing. However, registering every variation is impractical so employing a brand protection approach to monitoring and taking action becomes more important that ever.