Domain name registry giant expands trademark protection offering

Donuts has grown significantly in recent months with nearly 300 TLDs now under management. Its new Domains Protected Marks List (DPML) creates an excellent opportunity for IP owners to protect their brands online by taking advantage of Donuts’ expanded offering.

In recent years, we have observed increased acquisitive activity in the ever-changing domain name industry, both by vertical integration with registries acquiring registrars (and vice versa) and by registries acquiring each other for greater market share. This consolidation activity can impact IP owners and the domain name community at large, and one recent consolidation has created some exciting news for trademark holders.

Founded over a decade ago in 2010, domain registry Donuts is the registry behind new generic top-level domain (gTLD) extensions than any other registry, including popular extensions like. movie, .news, .live, .technology and .company. In December of 2020, Donuts announced that it would be acquiring Afilias, the registry behind legacy gTLDs like .info and .mobi, among many other gTLDs and country-code TLDs (ccTLDs), such as .au in Australia.

Years ago, Donuts introduced its DPML product, which allows trademark holders to “block” their brand from third-party registration in any Donuts-run TLD, for a fraction of the cost of purchasing unwanted defensive domain registrations.


Expanded protection, new benefits

In good news for brand owners, earlier this month Donuts announced that DPML will be expanded to incorporate all TLDs previously owned by Afilias, and some operated by Afilias, beginning November 16, 2021. Blocks have proven to be a reliable staple in domain name portfolios and expanding DPML to cover nearly 300 TLDs, including several ccTLDs (among them, popular ccTLD .io), should be a very positive development for trademark holders.

Brand owners who choose to upgrade to DPML Plus also receive the additional benefit of homograph protection, adding coverage of brand variations that utilize internationalized domain names (IDNs) to mimic a registered trademark. DPML Plus also extends coverage to text strings deemed ‘premium,’ by the registry, and both products allow flexibility in coverage duration with a minimum term of one year and a maximum term of 10 years, which is consistent with domain owners’ existing budget choices.

Speaking with Clarivate, CEO and President of Donuts, Akram Atallah commented: “By expanding our DPML coverage across the newly acquired and integrated Afilias portfolio and all of our Premium domain names, we provide the most powerful and effective homographic blocking product on the market. Our continued development and expansion in the domain sphere is a positive move for brand and trademark holders as well as domain registrants. We’re excited to announce this extended offering and hope it will help benefit the domain community.”

MarkMonitor™ clients should contact your Domain Portfolio Advisor to learn more, or click here to contact us for more information.

Upcoming Webinar! You may also register for our upcoming webinar with IPWatchdog, during which we will discuss how brand owners can leverage DPML and other blocks as part of a smart and cost-effective brand protection strategy.