As we indicated in our Bulletin .sucks gTLD – Should you Protect Your Brand on this Top Level Domain? of May 8, 2015, the Internet Corporation of Names and Numbers (ICANN) has now delegated nearly 550 new gTLDs as part of the New Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) program. One of the latest additions is < .sucks>. Vox Populi, operator of the < .sucks>. registry, marketed the new gTLD as a forum “designed to help consumers find their voices and allow companies to find the value in criticism”.
Initially the first phase of the < .sucks> registration period - the Sunrise period, was to remain open until May 29, 2015. The Registry has recently announced that the Sunrise Period has been extended to June 19th with General Availability to start on June 21st. During this period trademark owners who have registered their trademarks with the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) may register a < .sucks> domain incorporating their trademarks. Vox Populi released the following statement on their website:
Even though the launch of the new dotSucks domain names has received overwhelming media and market attention, we have discovered that far too many intellectual property lawyers, company executives and brand owners were unaware of the registry, the availability of its names or the Trademark Clearinghouse. This was a concern that led us over the last weeks to pay closer attention to the ability of the trademark holders to make a timely and informed decision about registering their marks or not. We have decided that the responsible move is to extend the TMCH Sunrise phase for a period of three weeks.
It remains to be seen whether this extended period will encourage more brand owners to pay the much higher than average price to secure domains on the .sucks top level domain.