18(b) How do you expect that your proposed gTLD will benefit registrants, Internet users, and others?

Prototypical answer:

gTLDFull Legal NameE-mail suffixDetail
.patchAOL Inc.teamaol.comView

18(b)i. What is the goal of your proposed gTLD in terms of areas of specialty, service levels or reputation?

The key goals of the proposed new .patch gTLD are in line with ICANN’s Affirmation of Commitments: to promote consumer trust, competition and consumer choice. AOL also seeks to foster its online reputation and provide an authoritative internet space through which AOL and Patch are able to communicate with Patch’s users directly and effectively. The ability to create domain names on demand related to specific marketing, specialty service and product development supports these goals. Strengthened security measures, service levels and more effective functionality will provide a trusted and positive user experience.

18(b)ii. What do you anticipate your proposed gTLD will add to the current space, in terms of competition, differentiation, or innovation?

It is anticipated that the proposed .patch gTLD will make positive contributions to the wider internet community by providing:

Differentiation (Increased trust):
The .patch gTLD will simplify how internet users interact with Patch by providing a distinctive domain space. By using a simpler domain name, internet users will be able to navigate directly to the .patch gTLD sites, saving time and resources searching for official sites. Further, with an improved search engine result, the proposed .patch gTLD will allow users to find local news, events, announcements and local business information much more easily. AOL and Patch can facilitate greater trust and assurance from internet users by maintaining complete control over the domain names registered under the .patch domain space. The .patch gTLD will allow users to participate and communicate with different local communities in a trusted and secure social network. By channelling its users to trusted sites dedicated for Patch, the .patch gTLD may ultimately eliminate the use of subdomains and redirects and ensure that its users are not confused by counterfeiters misrepresenting the Patch brand. Together with consumer trust, internet users will be able to rely on the authoritativeness of the domain names under the .patch domain space, which will differentiate interaction between internet users and Patch.

The differentiation of .patch gTLD as a trusted site for AOL’s subsidiary, Patch, will likely drive existing and new TLD registry operators to make improvements in mechanisms to improve consumer trust of their TLDs. Internet users will be encouraged to interact with domain names under .patch domain space. As a result, .patch will benefit its direct customers, as well as the internet community at large by likely forcing improved services and competition in the market place.

AOL has the ability to create second or third level domain names including the use of geographic names on demand which are relevant to Patch’s customer base, services and products. AOL will be able to combine its use of the domain space with innovative user focused marketing and services to address the currently unmet needs in the existing domain name system providing greater consumer choice and enhance its standing as a small business partner in the local communities in which Patch operates.

18(b)iii. What goals does your proposed gTLD have in terms of user experience?

The proposed .patch will provide a positive user experience, which meets the changing and growing needs of the global internet community. AOL will maintain control in the registration and use of domain names and will ensure that the new gTLD will only be used for purposes authorized by AOL. Therefore, the .patch gTLD will:
- Use geographic names to localize its websites to connect with internet users in the relevant cities and towns in which Patch operates and to comply with the local laws in those areas;
- Provide an easy and intuitive reference and access point for internet users by improving Patch’s search engine optimization;
- Represent authenticity thus promoting user confidence;
- Direct Patch’s internet users to relevant information in a timely manner by creating domain names on demand;
- Ensure security by implementing necessary technical and policy measures;
- Strengthen brand reputation and user confidence by eliminating risk of user confusion; and
- Prevent potential abuses in the registration process thereby reducing overall costs to businesses and users.

The .patch gTLD will facilitate strengthening user confidence in the domain name system, which will ultimately contribute toward promoting ICANN’s core values in benefiting the public interest.

18(b)iv. Provide a complete description of the applicantʹs intended registration policies in support of the goals listed above.
The proposed registration policy is attached in response to Question 28.

Only AOL and its Affiliates, including Patch, will be eligible to register domain names in .patch at this stage. The domain name registration processes will address the requirements mandated by ICANN, including rights abuse prevention measures.

18(b)v. Will your proposed gTLD impose any measures for protecting the privacy or confidential information of registrants or users? If so, please describe any such measures.

AOL is committed to protection of privacy and confidential information in accordance with its objective of increasing consumer trust and providing a safe and legitimate internet space for internet users. Privacy and confidential information will be protected in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations relating to internet security, privacy and user’s confidential information including the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act 2003 (US), Communications Decency Act 1996 (US), Protect our Children Act 2008 (US), Electronic Communications Privacy Act 1986 (US), Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act 1998 (US), EU-US Harbor Privacy Principles of Notice, Choice, Onward Transfer, Security, Data Integrity, Access and Enforcement, Network Advertising Initiative’s Self-Regulatory Code of Conduct and Digital Advertising Alliance’s Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising.

AOL already has its own privacy policy to demonstrate its commitment to the protection of user privacy and confidential information. Privacy is of fundamental concern to AOL and Patch’s customers. AOL has a strong interest in ensuring a high level of privacy protection for Patch’s customers. Both AOL and Patch have privacy policies displayed on their respective websites.
AOL’s privacy policy covers the following aspects:
- Collection of personal information: AOL only collects personal information when its user makes their information known by registering, authenticating, making purchases or interacting with AOL.
- Use of personal information: Any information AOL obtains is used to operate and improve AOL’s services, to fulfil users’ requests, for user communication, to conduct research, and to personalize content and advertisements provided to users.
- Internet advertising: Users are provided with information so as to understand how AOL’s advertisements are targeted to them based on their interests and other personal information AOL has on them.
- Option to opt-out: Users are given the choice of opting out of targeted advertising delivered by AOL.
- Users’ choices: AOL provides a list of choices for users to adopt to control and manage the amount of personal information obtained by the company.
- Sharing of information: AOL does not share, sell or rent users’ personal information to third parties. Unless in response to legal process, such information will only be shared with third parties with the user’s permission.

As the .patch gTLD will only be available to AOL and Patch, initially, the amount of personal data that will be collected for the purposes of operating the gTLD and made publicly available in the WHOIS database will be very limited. AOL will provide a publicly available and searchable WHOIS look up facility, where information about the domain name status, registrant information including administrative and technical contact details can be found in accordance with Specification 4 of the Registry Agreement. In order to prevent misuse of the WHOIS look up facility, AOL will utilize measures including a requirement where any person submitting a WHOIS database query is required to read and agree to the terms and conditions in accordance with the registration policy. This will include the terms of use that the WHOIS database is provided for information purposes only and that the user agrees not to use the information for any other purposes such as allowing or enabling the transmission of unsolicited commercial advertising or other communication.

AOL will deploy Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) which is intended to benefit both AOL (including Patch) and its users interacting with Patch online. DNSSEC provides additional security by validating information in the transmission, therefore it is intended to benefit those who publish information in the domain name system (DNS) and the users who retrieve information from the new .patch gTLD. AOL already implements measures to protect privacy or confidential information of its users against misuse, loss, alteration and unauthorised access. Such measures include the use of:
- Industry-strength hardware, software, and encryption technologies;
- Physical and logical compartmentalisation of information;
- Authentication and password rules;
- Encryption keys; and
- Network security controls.

AOL will continue to apply all security measures currently implemented and will comply with all other policies and practices required by ICANN in the Registry Agreement and any relevant Consensus Policy for protecting the privacy and confidential information of registrants and users in the new .patch domain space.

18(b)vi. Describe whether and in what ways outreach and communications will help to achieve your projected benefits.

Plans for outreach and communication around the new gTLD are still under consideration. However, .patch will be promoted within the internet community to be a trusted site and a gateway to interact with AOL and Patch in a secure and user friendly manner.

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