Klick Health

The new domains are coming – can you protect your brands?

Chief Technical Officer

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The new global top-level domains (gTLDs) are getting closer with a definite roll out plan most likely coming after the ICANN board meeting in Beijing April 7-11 (happening as we write this post). The question is, what will these new domains mean for marketers?

To get a sense of Klick’s opinions on this issue, you can see our older posts on this issue:

Bob Liodice at AdAge has provided some top-level advice for marketers:

  1. Educate yourself on every implication associated with gTLDs (which should include reviewing our posts, above)
  2. Thoroughly examine the current system your company has in place in regard to website domains
  3. Take action (easier said than done)

A new piece of the gTLD puzzle is the Trademark Clearinghouse is the result of trademark owners worrying that they will lose control of their brands to the new domain names. The ICANN information is posted on their website and on the microsite, trademark-clearinghouse.com (this site seems to have the more accessible information, including a 2-minute intro video).

What is Pharma doing?

In our last post we analyzed the then-current gTLD requests for participation by healthcare brands and found:

Currently there are 1,930 requests in the system (which represents over $350 million in fees for ICANN). Here is an update to the status of the healthcare brands that are applying for gTLDs.


Company Domain Competitors Notes
Abbott Laboratories ABBOTT 0 Both domains are still handled by the same domain name company, Fair Winds Partners
Abbott Laboratories ABBVIE 0
Alcon Laboratories, Inc. ALCON 0
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KG BOEHRINGER 0
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company BMS 0
Eli Lilly and Company CIALIS 0 Lilly has withdrawn its registration of Cialis, so now no pharma companies have decided to register a product brand gTLD
Eli Lilly and Company LILLY 0
H. Lundbeck A/S LUNDBECK 0
Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical Co.,Inc. HISAMITSU 0
Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc. JNJ 0
Lupin Limited LUPIN 0
Merck KGaA MERCK 1 No one in either Merck camp has blinked, both Merck applications (Germany and US) are still registered
Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation MTPC 0
Pfizer Inc. PFIZER 0
Sanofi SANOFI 0
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited TEVA 0

Health Insurance

Company Domain Competitors Notes
Aetna Life Insurance Company AETNA 0
Allstate ALLSTATE 0 They have some health offerings
State Farm STATEFARM 0 They have some health offerings
WellPoint, Inc. ANTHEM 0 Wellpoint decided that there was little reason to spend the money on the Carepoint name
WellPoint, Inc. CAREMORE 0

Not for Profit Associations

Company Domain Competitors Notes
Aesthetics Practitioners Advisory Network Pty Ltd. SALON 0
American Heart Association, Inc. HEART 0 The American Heart Association decided that the names weren’t worth the trouble
American Heart Association, Inc. STROKE 0
Australian Cancer Research Foundation CANCERRESEARCH 0 A pretty long name for a gTLD
National Association of Boards of Pharmacy PHARMACY 0 Very surprised there is no competition here, apparently the online pharmacy business isn’t as lucrative as previously thought

Best Practice

The “ground truth” of the gTLDs is very hard to determine. We know that many users google names even when they know the domain, for example they will type “pfizer” into a search box or into the browser address bar and use the Google search results to visit the site. When the gTLDs roll out they won’t have to go through the search results to visit, the gTLD of “PFIZER” will take them there directly. If someone else got that name there could be a small amount of confusion for site visitors.

That said, if users were looking for a company such as Millennium (the Takeda oncology company) and they ended up anywhere but a health-related website I’m reasonably certain they would search again.

Stay Vigilant

There are periods where brand owners can dispute names. Review the full list on the ICANN website and see if your brand is being claimed.

More About the Author

Steve Willer

Steve has many years of experience developing, designing, and architecting large scale CMS and eCommerce systems. A member of the executive team, he leads all development groups inside Klick Pharma.

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