INTA Research

New gTLD Cost Impact Survey

Published: June 26, 2017

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New gTLD Cost Impact Survey

In early 2017, INTA commissioned a study on the impact that the new and expanded gTLDs have had on enforcement costs for intellectual property owners. This study, in part, was in response to a request from ICANN’s Competition, Consumer Trust and Consumer Choice (CCT) Review Team. INTA’s impact study took the form of a survey of all Regular Member designees.

Designed and administered by Nielsen, the survey was completed by 33 respondents in its entirety. Many of the respondents reported that collecting and compiling the data necessary to respond accurately to the survey was a significant task that required several hours. While the response rate may appear low, Nielsen has indicated that the response rate is actually good for a similar sample, especially when considering the level of effort required to complete the survey.

Overall, while the study results are not conclusive, they provide an indication of several trends vis-à-vis the effects of the new gTLD program on trademark owners:

  • Registrations of new gTLDs by brand owners were made overwhelmingly for defensive purposes.
  • The new gTLD program has increased overall costs of trademark defense, with Internet monitoring and diversion actions as the largest line items.
  • The size of a company does not directly correlate to a company’s spending activity, as brand activity appears to be the driving cost factor.
  • Domain names registered by brand owners in new gTLDs are commonly parked and are not creating direct value other than preventing unauthorized use by others.
  • While the goal of the new gTLD program is to increase choice, choice does not seem to be the prime consideration or motivation for the brand owners that participated in the survey.