20(a) Provide the name and full description of the community that the applicant is committing to serve
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The community served by the “.MERCK” TLD space is the collection of corporate entities, their affiliates and subsidiaries which together comprise the Merck Community. Membership in the Merck Community is clearly defined in the following manner.
Members of the Merck Community are the companies which are part of the Merck Group (as also discussed above in the answer to Question 18). To be recognized as a member of the Merck Community, a registrant must meet the Eligibility Requirements, which are as follows:
- the registrant is Merck KGaA or a company which is a fully owned subsidiary of Merck KGaA,
- the registrant uses “Merck” as the sole element or as a component of its company name, and
- the registrant uses as its umbrella brand the German figurative trademark No. 30130670, “MERCK”
Merck KGaA keeps an up-to-date, comprehensive list of the members of the Merck Community at all times. Thus, the Merck Community is very clearly defined.
The structure of the Merck Community is thus identical with the intra-corporational hierarchy of the Merck Group, discussed in detail above in the answer to Question 11. Merck KGaA, the Applicant for the “.MERCK” TLD, is the parent company of the Merck Group, and thus the representative and leader of the Merck Community. All members of the Merck Community are engaged in activities concerning the manufacture, research, development, marketing or distribution of Merck-branded pharmaceuticals and laboratory equipment. Merck KGaA shall maintain the space for the benefit of the Merck Community at large.
As the parent company, Merck KGaA oversees over 250 corporate entities working together towards a common goal. In practice, these over 250 companies provide goods and services within the Group’s four divisions, detailed above, which comprise: Merck Serono, Merck Consumer Healthcare, Merck Millipore, and Merck Performance Materials. Additional information about each of these divisions may be found in the answers to Question 18(a).
The Merck Community was affirmatively established in 1968, the year which marked the 300th anniversary of Merck. In 1968, the individual companies comprising the Merck Group realized that a common identity was paramount to successful communication and effective worldwide branding. At that time, the Merck Group published its first consolidated financial report including information from the territories outside Germany. A new corporate logo was adopted, which came to define the Merck Community, which has grown both in breadth and strength over the past four decades. Today there are over 250 companies, with roughly 40,000 employees, which represent the Community, working together to bring innovative healthcare solutions, cutting edge pharmaceuticals, world-class laboratory equipment, and high-tech chemical and material solutions to the world at large.
The Merck Community is further globally engaged in various social projects. Taking on responsibility has been a characteristic element of its culture and actions for many generations. The Merck Community sees itself as part of society – at its individual locations and globally. The Merck Community takes responsibility for all of its activities regardless of whether they relate to products or employees, the environment or the community.
The Merck Community views its corporate responsibility toward society not only in terms of paying taxes and creating or maintaining jobs. Rather, the Merck Community is convinced that it can make an important contribution to society with its knowledge, its skills and its products.
Merck manufactures more than 50,000 different products at 70 production sites. Merck aims to prevent negative environmental impact caused by the production of pharmaceuticals, chemicals and laboratory products, and to provide its employees with a safe work environment.
Merck has further committed itself to the Responsible Care® principles of the chemical industry and to the Responsible Care Global Charter.
Additionally, Merck is taking steps to advance the objective of making our health solutions accessible and affordable for patients in developing countries.
A detailed report about the activities within the Merck Community can be found on Merck KGaA’s website, in the document entitled Corporate Responsibility Report 2011.
It is reasonable and natural to think of this collection of corporate entities as a community due to the common goals and activities shared among the group, its unitary nature as distinct from competitors or other organizations, and its international representation. The Merck Group is located in over 70 countries worldwide, yet all of its individual members share the same mission statement and common purpose.
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