Brad Templeton Home
Example Domains, valid and invalid
To explain the philosophy that a TLD must be a valid brand in the global directory industry, let's look at a few.
This is my classic example. Yahoo has built the best established brand in internet directories. If they wanted the .yahoo TLD they could run it according to any principles they like. The only thing it couldn't be would be a directory of "yahoos" -- which it would not likely be.
I think Dunn and Bradstreet is a good example of an established business directory from the non-online world that could map here.
While abbreviations are hard to get as trademarks, The Better Business Bureau is one group that has done this, and their TLD would be valuable, because it would also imply membership and adherence to their principles. One would presume a .bbb domain pointed to a responsible company.
I could run my own TLD with this name, as long as I don't give generic domains for people named Brad (including myself) or those small little nails.
This could be a possible TLD for critical domains or those advocating boycotts.
This is a domain nobody should have, at least not for a dirctory of museums. It's descriptive and generic.
This global directory trademark is shared among many telephone companies. They would have to work out a universal agreement to share it or none could have it. However, if they didn't work one out, local companies could have forms like ".pacbellyp", long as it is.
This generic word still can be a trademark in a given industry, as it is for "Apple Computers" and "Apple Records" to name two famous companies. So it could be the name of a directory. However, there would be a requirement that this TLD not be used in a generic or descriptive fashion. That means that a Washington apple grower could not register a name like "washington.apple" as much as they might like to. That's because they want that name not because of the value in the brand of the Apple directory company but because it is descriptive.
The .apple TLD would be required to enforce that, and take away a 2LD being used in such a fashion after complaint and ajudication. If the TLD company did this a lot, or created their domain secretly for this purpose, they might lose it.
There's some question as to whether a company like Apple Computers should be blocked from getting a domain like "computers.apple," which again they would seek because it is descriptive, and not because they like the policies and brand of the .apple TLD. On the other hand, for a TM this precise, there may be no conflict.
If IBM wanted to get into the dirctory business using their name, they could. But the requirement would be that almost all the domains be deeded to non-IBM parties. So it can't really be a vanity TLD. It may even make sense to say that IBM can't put its own computers into the .IBM domain, except those involved with the TLD business. So they could have nic.ibm for signups, but not lotus.ibm for the Lotus division.
Again the question is whether the 2LD is being chosen because the word in the TLD is inherently descriptive or generic, or because the TLD has good policies and a good brand.
The end-user in this system
Assume that several dozen brand name directory companies existed. When you wished to create a domain name, you could pick any one of them, based on their policies and prices. So if you want a domain like "johnsmith" you could have it as johnsmith.yahoo, johnsmith.dunn, johnsmith.brad etc.
If there were a .smith domain you could not take "john.smith" since that would be unfair to other people of that name. If johnsmith were taken in all TLDs, that would create market pressure for somebody to start a new TLD just to get the business of people who have a popular choice.
You could also try to register kodak.yahoo, if Yahoo were willing to allow that. However, if you did, Kodak could and would use ordinary trademark law to stop you.
You could however probably use kodak.boycottzone to organize a boycott of Kodak.