ICANN Says Brands Are At Risk of Domain Abuse

Katy Bachman at AdWeek did a piece on ICANN and their statement that brands are at risk of domain abuse. They are warning brands to protect their intellectual property by using the Trademark Clearing House. The article mentions that many brands are not rushing to pay  the $150/year per domain fee to register each brand.

From the article:

Try to follow this. Icann, the international organization that has begun to roll out hundreds of new generic top level domains over the objections of brands worried about domain abuse, is now warning brands that they are at risk of domain abuse.

At the end of last month, the first of what will be hundreds of new domains (suffixes to the right of the dot in a url, like .guru, .photography) went live, adding to the more commonly-known domains like .com and .net.

The article goes on to get some feedback from those both in advertising and intellectual property

To Greg Shatan, a partner with Reed Smith who specializes in intellectual property law, it’s a blatant sales pitch. “They’re trying to drum up business. The only way the [Trademark Clearinghouse] gets paid, is if trademark and brand owners are scared.”

Read the full article here

New Pizza Chain Spends a Whole $500 To Secure Its Brand, YourPie.com









This is a new pizza chain starting to gain some momentum has now added South Florida to its locations.

Your Pie which started in 2008 the same year  the domain name YourPie.com was acquired the domain at a Godaddy.com auction for a whopping $500, which is now the name for the pizza chain which is busy franchising locations.

The chain is now in Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Another example of someone selling a highly brandable domain name for pennies on the dollar.



LaunchRock Switches From .Com to .Co

Screen Shot 2013-07-02 at 9.44.30 AM


LauchRock.co which bills itself as “A Platform For New Startups” has switched its main URL from LaunchRock.com to LaunchRock.co effective July 1, 2013.

In a email sent to users, LaunchRock.com announced the change:


From: LaunchRock <hello@launchrock.com>
Date: 2013/7/1
Subject: ACTION REQUIRED: Keep your LaunchRock account from being retired

Hello LaunchRocker,

On Monday, July 15th, 2013 at 12:00 PM PST, LaunchRock will be retiring our Legacy platform.

If you do not migrate your account by the retirement date it will be permanently deleted.

You may have noticed the voluntary migrate account button that has been in your Site Builder for a few months. The time has come, due to expense and need for continuity of service, to require all LaunchRock customers to migrate to our current platform.

Please follow these instructions to safely migrate your account, site settings, and emails:
Login to your DNS host
Change your CNAME record host / destination to host.launchrock.com
Optional A Record redirects should point to any of our IPs
Go to http://app.launchrock.com/login and log in to your legacy account
Click the Migrate Account button
Open the migration confirmation email from migrate@launchrock.com to get your new temporary login informtion
Login to the new Site Builder (http://use.launchrock.co/login) to verify and adjust your settings
Click the Launch Site button once you’ve completed 100% of the required steps.
More detailed instructions can be found here.

If you have any questions or feedback as you work in the new platform, you can reach us through the ‘Ideas & Support’ tab in the upper right corner of the site.

Thank you for your continued support,

The LaunchRock Team




While the naysayers will look at the fact that the company can only make the switch to .Co because they own the .com address as well, as you can see the switch to a .com is not a simple one and is going to require all users to take steps to keep their account active and may well loses users in the process.

Also this is not going to be a cheap process for the company so its willing to risk the loss of users and bear the costs of the switch over because the think .Co extension more represents their clients, the startup community which has embraced .Co

According to the .Co registry they now have over 1.5 Million domains registered.

HatTip: Mark Kychma

Upworthy.com Buys U.pw As URL Shortener

According to a post on the company blog, Upworthy.com which bills itself as “social media with a mission” that appeals to the The Daily Show” generation”, has just bought the domain name U.pw to use at a URL shortener.

The domain name U.pw was acquired from the .Pw registry for an undisclosed price.

Prior to the acquisition of u.pw the company was using the domain name upwr.me for its shortener.

Upworthy.com has a Google Page Rank of 5 and is a top 1,000 site based on traffic data complied by Compete.com

According to a press release we received at TheDomains.com, Upworthy is a “quickly growing media start up that has garnered 10.4 million monthly readers within a year from launch.”

“Business Insider has named them the “fastest growing media company in history.”

Upworthy plans to use U.pw as its exclusive URL shortener to share news across all its social media channels. With social media as their primary promotion channel, Upworthy’s shared links generate millions of impressions per week”.

HOSTING.com Rebrands By Dropping The .Com

In what I consider to be another head scratcher, Hosting.com has dropped the .com from its brand and re-branded to just HOSTING.

According a press release posted on the companies website, “”HOSTING, formally Hosting.com, a leading provider of enterprise-class, managed cloud hosting services, announced its new company name, new logo, and new branding that reinforce its commitment to midsized enterprises running mission-critical applications in the Cloud”.

“After several acquisitions in the past few years that have greatly expanded its service offerings and expertise, the company recognized the need to create a new, common identity internally and externally.  “Given our growth through acquisition, we have employees from three different internal cultures. With this rebranding, we have a shared vision.  Also, we’ve been able to design our new brand to align with the brand promise we make to our customers, said HOSTING CEO Art Zeile.”

“While HOSTING recently dropped the “dotcom” from the brand name, its Website domain remains hosting.com”.

“The new Website features easier navigation, a bolder color palette and improved search functionality. It summarizes the company’s full spectrum of Cloud services in five simple product tiers. The new site also distinctly highlights HOSTING’s lifecycle approach to managed Cloud hosting – an important differentiator in a crowded marketplace”.

“The company’s new logo, symbolic of the compass rose, represents HOSTING’s promise to serve as a trusted guide. HOSTING aims to help businesses navigate through the Cloud technology landscape by leveraging the strength of its proven approach, infrastructure and people”.

” “It’s much more than just delivering services. We know that over 90% of mid-market companies see business value in cloud computing, but only about 20% have a plan to get there. HOSTING strives to remove obstacles and help businesses move forward into the Cloud,” said Mike Donaldson, Chief Marketing Officer.  The company’s new tag line, “taking you further,” underscores this brand message.”

Ok so I have no idea of how dropping the .Com from HOSTING.com makes the company message clearer or more effective.

Maybe the CEO of the company has no idea or maybe just doesn’t care but there are three companies that applied for the new gTLD .Hosting and eventually one of them is going to get the new gTLD and start marketing it.

I have no idea of how removing the .Com from Hosting.com is going to do anything but bring market confusion.