When we checked in on the new gTLD program in June, we mentioned very briefly a "control mechanism" called DPML which has been, for some time now, implemented by Donuts. In particular, we noted how successful this program has been and speculated that we may see such mechanisms applied across-the-board by ICANN, especially when the next round of new gTLD applications opens.
But for now, Donuts is still fine-tuning this feature and making adjustments and changes as it goes along. That's especially the case when it comes to pricing.
As of January 1, 2017, prices for their DPML service, which Donuts is now calling "Legacy DPML" are doubling. At the same time, for a limited time, they are now offering an enhanced, "upgrade" under the name DPML Plus.
We need to back up a little bit, though, to talk about what exactly this feature is. DPML stands for Domains Protected Marks List. Donuts, the registry with the largest new gTLD portfolio out there, since the beginning of 2014 has been letting trademark owners leverage their large portfolio to protect their brand names against cybersquatters on all TLDs for which they are responsible. Donuts TLD portfolio is now at almost 200 TLDs. Instead of having to defensively register terms, which can entail rapidly ballooning costs (there are now over a thousand active new gTLDs), DPML customers pay less and get protection across Donuts's entire portfolio.
To purchase the service, trademark owners first submit a request to Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH). Then, using the SMD file received from TMCH, they can request a "block" on a protected term. A blocked domain, then, simply cannot be registered and will not have DNS resolution. In effect, it's the same outcome that most people want with a defensive registration, but with no actual domain name registration involved and hence a lower cost associated.
If you purchase a DPML block, you can protect your trademark or related terms for a period of five to ten years with the option to renew annually after that.
If a trademark holder attempts to register a domain only to find it blocked, if they have the SMD file for an applicable TMCH claim, they can then request a DPML Override.
If you would like to know all the details, Donuts has a complete overview of the service available on their site.
In addition to raising the price on this "legacy" service, from October 1 through December 31, Donuts is offering a special promotion on DPML Plus, the new, enhanced versione. DPML Plus will only be available during the three-month promotion period. In the meantime, they have ceased invoicing override fees.
DPML Plus will include a few tempting new enhancements that are not part of the "legacy" service and will not be available for blocks purchased after the new year. These enhancements include:
- Domain blocks will start at an initial 10 years
- Block not only the TMCH-registered term but also three additional terms (such as spelling variations or related terms) across all TLDs managed by Donuts
- Extended protection over all new gTLDs managed by Donuts whether "classic" or "premium" (the "legacy" service does not include premiums)
- Unlimited overrides without additional fees
- Block an override requested by another TMCH holder of an identical term
- Optional add-on to block three more terms for an added fee
Any current DPML registration is eligible for a discounted upgrade to DPML Plus. Otherwise anyone wishing to renew the "legacy" service before the price increase on January 1st can do so before December 31.
As always, feel free to contact us if you have any questions about this and especially if you'd like to sign up for the DPML Plus service. We also recommend taking a look at the information published by Donuts on their site.
One common concern about the new gTLD program is the difficulty and expense of protecting intellectual property from domain squatters. With DPML and the new DPML Plus products, Donuts offers one more cost-conscious solution. We'll be interested to watch this service and how ICANN may incorporate some of its features into the new gTLD program as a whole in the coming months and years.