ICANN just posted on its site the withdrawal of two more new gTLD applications bring the total of withdrawn applications to 21.
ProMark Brands Inc. withdrew the only two new gTLD applications it had for .HEINZ & .KETCHUP.
.KETCHUP had a Prioritization number of 737, and HEINZ had a Prioritization of 1345.
It should be noted at this point, applicants still get 70% of their application back and that percentage drops to 35% after Initial Evaluations are released, which ICANN has promised to start releasing this month
Here is how the company described the applications:
“ProMark Brands Inc. (“ProMark”), a subsidiary of H.J. Heinz Company (“Heinz”), has filed this application for a .KETCHUP gTLD with the intention of bringing to market a trusted, hierarchical, and intuitive namespace for consumers to access content related to Heinz Tomato Ketchup worldwide.
Through a unified corporate approach, ProMark intends to submit two gTLD applications for the strings .HEINZ and .KETCHUP.
“The intended future mission and purpose of the .KETCHUP gTLD is to serve as a trusted, hierarchical, and intuitive namespace provided by Heinz and its qualified subsidiaries and affiliates, to Heinz customers, consumers of Heinz Tomato Ketchup, and Internet users.”
“ProMark will be examining other .GENERIC gTLD applications, as well as general market adoption, to determine short- and long-term potential use case options for .KETCHUP to most effectively support Heinz’s online marketing strategy as a leading global food products company.”
“ProMark intends to initially limit registration and use of domain names within the .KETCHUP gTLD to Heinz and its qualified subsidiaries and affiliates. This initial limited use will allow Heinz to establish its operations and achieve full sustainability. This limited distribution coupled with the other requirements set forth in Specification 9 of the template Registry Agreement is intended to exempt ProMark from its annual Code of Conduct Compliance requirements.”
“After Year 3, ProMark will evaluate whether opportunities exist to carry out the business strategy for the .KETCHUP gTLD through expansion that continues the sustainable operations of the registry through fee-based registrations to parties other than Heinz and its qualified subsidiaries and affiliates.”
ProMark currently plans a four-stage rollout for the .KETCHUP gTLD. This rollout is subject to change depending upon business, strategic, and industry factors at the time of each stage:
1. Stage 1
The initial stage of implementation of the gTLD will involve Heinz registering a limited number of .KETCHUP second-level domain names.
2. Stage 2
Once all testing has been successfully completed, ProMark will begin allocating domain names in the .KETCHUP gTLD for more widespread internal corporate use. During this same period of time, ProMark will begin evaluating strategies to potentially migrate traffic away from its current patchwork network of second-level domain names, which are registered in a variety of gTLDs, to ProMark’s new gTLDs.
It is in Stage 2 that ProMark will evaluate expanding the operations of the gTLD to permit registration by other registrants, such as licensees and strategic partners. Should an assessment of its expansion strategy lead to a decision to extend registration rights to other parties, this expansion is currently planned to take place during Stage 3. However, any expansion would be conditioned upon a review of Specification 9 (Registry Code of Conduct) set forth in the template Registry Agreement to ensure compliance with ProMarkʹs and Heinz’s business models.
3. Stage 3
Depending upon the analysis of the evaluations undertaken in stage two, ProMark may begin to implement the permanent migration of Internet traffic away from the gTLDs in which Heinz’s domain names are currently registered, and toward the .KETCHUP gTLD. It is in this stage that ProMark also may implement its decision to extend registration rights to licensees and strategic partners depending upon compliance with Specification 9 as noted above.
After consideration of the following factors: analysis of Heinz’s existing domain name portfolio, internal analysis of marketing initiatives, and the fact that ProMark will have full control over the number of registrations in the .KETCHUP gTLD namespace, ProMark is confident that the number of domain name registrations will be less than 10,000 in the first five years of operation.
4. Stage 4
Based on its experience with any expansion implemented in Stage 3, ProMark will assess whether its business plan and expansion strategy should be augmented by extending registration rights to a broader class of licensees, potentially including customers of Heinz. It is anticipated by ProMark that changes to the domain name industry will take at least five years to be realized and assessed. Any decision to expand the gTLDs beyond corporate, qualified subsidiary⁄affiliate, and licensee use will take into account this experience as well as the technical analysis of potential expansion.
ProMark believes that a proposed .KETCHUP gTLD has the potential to offer the following benefits to Internet users and consumers:
-Minimize the cost and need for defensive registrations because domain names will only be allocated by ProMark within the .KETCHUP gTLD to Heinz and its qualified subsidiaries and afiliates;
-Develop a potential platform for the secure access to information regarding Heinz’s brands and products, as well as the purchase and distribution of these brands and products, in order to minimize the potential for counterfeit or infringing content and products.
At the same time, ProMark will evaluate potential strategies to migrate traffic away from the current network of second-level domains registered in various gTLDs, to the .KETCHUP gTLD, which offers the potential to provide consumers with a single, trusted online source for Heinz Tomato Ketchup.