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

Prototypical answer:

gTLDFull Legal NameE-mail suffixDetail
.IBMInternational Business Machines Corporationus.ibm.comView

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

In terms of reputation, the .IBM TLD will provide clarity and consistency to the use of the IBM name and will establish a trusted source of information for IBM Users. Through the .IBM TLD and the different portals that can be created in the space, IBM will be able to provide increased access and ease of navigation to IBM Users. Further, in an age of malware, phishing, cyberpiracy and counterfeit products, the establishment of the .IBM TLD under IBM’s exclusive control creates a legitimate, secure platform that IBM Users can be assured is devoid of piracy, cybersquatting, counterfeiting or other malicious conduct.

Clarity and consistency are key elements of branding and are vital in promoting and maintaining the IBM brand. A brand name enables direct communication between the brand owner and customer, and facilitates customer choice in purchase decisions. Furthermore, a brand name lends its owner intellectual property rights that prevent it from being used, in exact or similar form, by competitors. IBM’s existing naming strategies and guidelines have been developed to align the company with our customer’s frame of reference. By encouraging IBM Users to request the establishment of .IBM domain names specific to individual brands or projects, IBM will enable IBM Users to easily identify and centralize IBM’s related products, services and programs, and to ensure consistency across the company. The ultimate goal is to create domain names that leverage the power of the IBM name, enabling IBM Users to more conveniently and directly access IBM’s breadth of products and services, while protecting the IBM brand and reputation.

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

The .IBM TLD will enable the company to better compete and differentiate our offerings in the global marketplace. Our traditional customer is changing. Information technology purchases are increasingly made by non-IT decision makers such as business strategists and line-of-business executives. IBM’s competition is not standing still. Competitors are moving beyond their core competencies of hardware, software or services to capture new revenue and market opportunities as well as focusing on return on investment and cost efficiency. The emergence of non-traditional competitors and new technologies will threaten market leaders and render some business models obsolete. The competitive landscape is being redefined not only by what products and services a company offers, but also by the partnerships and alliances that are formed. Value is created in the network of business relationships within and across industries, and IBM hopes to use the .IBM TLD to bring together and enhance that network of existing relationships for the benefit of IBM’s consumers and partners alike.

As IBM transitions into a leading provider of integrated technology solutions, the fundamental strength of our business model remains the ability to assemble the optimal mix of our offerings to design tailored solutions for customers. The shifts in the industry and competitive landscape are heightening the importance of the brand and managing brands as assets. The role of the brand is to establish a powerful and enduring ʺsource of valueʺ that maintains relevance with customers, differentiates us from competitors, and resonates across the entire enterprise.

The IBM brand is a strategic asset for the company. It continues as one of the most powerful and recognizable brands in the world. In fact, the leading brand consultancy agency Interbrand valued the IBM trademark at over 69 billion dollars in 2011. (http:⁄⁄www.interbrand.com⁄en⁄best-global-brands⁄best-global-brands-2008⁄best-global-brands-2011.aspx)

Keeping the IBM brand strong and relevant is vital to our continued success. It helps us deliver on our business strategy. It affects the bottom line. It connects us to the past, guides us in the present, and leads us into the future.

iii. What goals does your proposed gTLD have in terms of user experience?

We expect the .IBM TLD to enhance IBM User trust in the IBM brand and provide assurance of genuine IBM online engagement and communication. The .IBM TLD will also provide a consistent web presence, and will enhance digital engagements such as enablement, communications and⁄or applications between IBM and its base of Internet-based IBM Users. IBM Users will also be confident that they are exchanging data with IBM and not an unauthorized third party.

iv. Provide a complete description of the applicant’s intended registrations policies in support of the goals listed above

The .IBM TLD will be a closed registry. IBM will not use the TLD to sell domain names or host third party websites however in certain instances URLs under the TLD may point to content on third party servers. There will be no registrants of the .IBM TLD other than the IBM Corporation. The Administrative Contact, a generic email address to be created and managed by the IBM Corporate Trademark department following establishment of the .IBM registry, will manage requests by IBM Users for domain names in the .IBM TLD. This is similar to IBM’s current management of IBM-owned domain names (such as ibm.com) under its dnsadm@us.ibm.com generic email address. All domain name registrations and transfers in the .IBM TLD will be managed by IBM’s Corporate Trademark department.

Requests for the establishment and use of .IBM domain names will only be open to IBM Users. IBM Users will only have the ability to submit modifications to websites and add content to websites in the form of comments or discussion groups through an IBM controlled content management tool, and will have no control over or ability to alter the domain name servers or the domain name Registration Data, such as the WhoIs information. IBM has extensive policies governing the use of the ibm.com domain name, as set forth below and in response to question 18(c)(i), and will consistently apply these policies to the .IBM TLD. IBM will also incorporate into its policies all existing and future ICANN consensus policies and other legal and policy requirements imposed on new TLD applicants.

Requester criteria
1. Prior to development or deployment or publication of a domain name at any level, approval must be obtained from the IBM Corporate Webmaster.
2. A request for establishment and use of a domain name will only be accepted from a verified IBM User (“Requester”).
3. The Corporate Webmaster will review for compliance and validate all requests for domain names submitted by Requesters.
4. In connection with any request, the Requester must review any use of IBM trademarks and service marks with the IBM Intellectual Property Law group supporting the Requester. The use of other companiesʹ trademarks and service marks in a domain name requires division IP legal approval but is strongly discouraged since this poses a legal exposure to IBM.
Reserved codes and names:
1. All two character paths are reserved and may only be used as country and language codes. The country codes follow IANA domain naming conventions.
2. All country and region names are reserved.
3. Country and language codes cannot be used as part of a domain name at the second level or any other level domain name within .IBM, but only within the non-domain name portion of URLs for purposes of clarification.
a. uk.ibm⁄software is not allowed.
b. software.ibm⁄uk⁄ is allowed.
4. If in the future, IBM desires to use a country code in its second or third level domain names, it will seek agreement from that country’s government and approval from ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee.

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

IBM has extensive corporate directives that provide guidance on privacy and that control the dissemination of sensitive data. In addition, all IBM employees worldwide receive training on IBM’s Business Conduct Guidelines and recertify such training annually. IBM has a privacy policy in place for users of the ibm.com website, which policy will be consistently enforced for the .IBM TLD. The privacy policy is available on-line at http:⁄⁄www.ibm.com⁄privacy⁄us⁄en⁄?lnk=ft and is reproduced in its entirety in response to question 30(b) of this application.

vi. Describe whether and in what ways outreach and communications will help to achieve your projected benefits
Communications and outreach to IBM Users will draw traffic and increase usage of the .IBM TLD. IBM will inform IBM Users that .IBM will allow them to more easily identify IBM products, services and programs and have the confidence that they are indeed dealing with IBM. This will allow IBM to better leverage its name and enable IBM Users to better understand the breadth of IBM product offerings and services.

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gTLDFull Legal NameE-mail suffixzDetail