When it comes to the Internet and what makes it tick, the simple answer is: domains. Domains play an integral part in how the Internet, as we know it, works and how we connect to the world of information, products and services marketed and sold online. The idea of a domain, and the modern addressing or routing system used, was invented in 1985. For most business owners, a domain is an important tool in selling services and products online, as well as attracting customers to offline, traditional marketplaces for goods and services. Here are 16 interesting facts from Webmasterjury that are not common knowledge and will expand your horizon, in the world of internet domains!
1)    Approximately 13% of all .com domain registrations are of short, 5 or 6-character domain names.
2)    Domain name registration was free for everyone prior to 1995.
3)    Apple was the 64th domain registered in 1985 and can boast being one of the first domains put into service.
4)    Google.com was originally suppose to be googol.com, but due to an administrative error, was registered as Google. The name has since become a household name.
5)    .ng is the most expensive TLD (Top Level Domain) extension and costs a whopping $40,000 USD per year, to use the extension.
6)    2017’s most popular new TLDs include: .app, .fan and .web.
7)    Carinsurance.com is the most expensive domain ever sold, to a non-government entity, and was sold for a massive 49.7 million USD, to Quinstreet Inc, in 2010.
8)    Twitter was only able to purchase the rights to twitter.co.au in 2015, as it was registered by a domain parker and sold to the company for a huge profit.
9)    In 2003, Microsoft Inc. forgot to renew Hotmail.co.uk.
10)   “Trump” was the leading keyword used in the registration of new domains in Jan 2017, for .com and .new TLDs.
11)    Mike Mann sets the record for most domains registered in a single day. Mike registered 14,962 domains in a 24-hour period, in April 2012, setting the record that stands to this today.
12)   Domains are usually registered for periods of one to ten years at a time, but “Network Solutions” allows domains registered through their service to be registered for a period of up to 100 years.
13)   GoDaddy is the clear leader of new domain registrations, with an estimated 54 million new domains registered so far in 2017. GoDaddy’s nearest competitor registered less, 12 million unique domains, in the same time period.
14)   Some domains, like, .tk, .cf, .gs, .cu and .cc are free to register TLD’s, meaning the companies that administer them don’t charge you to register your domain with those extensions.
15)   The most non-government used TLD is, .xyz. It likely has such high usership due to its low registration costs of only $0.69 USD per domain.
16)   In 1987, the 100th domain was registered, meaning it took the Internet nearly 2 years to hit the 100-site milestone. Today, 100 sites are registered every few milliseconds.

*These are a few interesting facts about domain names that you likely didn’t know. If you are interested in learning a few more, 101 facts can be found at Webmasterjury, who kindy provided this content.

By Zak Muscovitch.

Two big upcoming conferences are taking place in India; DomainX in August, and ICANN in November. I have been to India twice now, with my most recent trip being August, 2015, for DomainX. I plan on going for my third trip this August, for DomainX 2016. Here are five observations/tips about traveling to India for a domain name conference:

1.    The Next Billion People on the Internet to Come from India

 According to former ICANN CEO, Fadi Chehade, with the next billion people on the Internet likely to come from India, the country has the power to shape the future of the Internet. “India is central to what the Internet is at the global level... India is not simply getting into the digital world. The country is already an incumbent, a driver in the digital world in every sense of the word”, Mr. Chehadé said speaking at an event in India in March, 2015.   As I wrote and explained in my previous Blog post, all the evidence points towards India becoming the leading Internet powerhouse as a result of its highly educated, English speaking, young, dynamic, and massive workforce. If your business has the potential to expand into the Indian market, there is no better place to start than visiting India yourself. The .in market is showing a lot of promise and there is substantial growth in the number of Indian domain investors in many extensions. It could be "the next China" in terms of the huge potential demand for domain names amongst a population of 1.3 billion people who are only now getting online. Currently only about 20% of India's populace is online, and it is increasing by about 14% per year.

2.   Use Your Points from Buying Thousands of Domain Names on Your Credit Card

You probably have a ton of points saved up from buying thousands of domain names on your credit cards, so it may be time to burn them on some flashy flights. Aside from India's national carrier, Air India, and its other major airline, Jet Airways, two of the world's greatest airlines fly to India; Emirates and Etihad. Both Emirates and Etihad a380 aircraft feature showers in their first class cabins, and there are even bars in business class, and both  are available via points redemptions. I had the time of my life flying on Emirates on my first trip to India. For more information about redeeming your points for flights, you can read a blog called, One Mile at a Time.

3.    Take a Tour of India and see the Taj Mahal

If you are going to India on business, tag on a tour to see some of India. DomainX 2016 will be held in Delhi, and ICANN will be held in Hyderabad. Delhi is a major hub for Internet businesses, as is Hyderabad, which has earned the Moniker, "Cyberbad". Hyderabad was the location of the first DomainX conference, in 2014.

Both cities have a lot to offer in terms of sightseeing. In Delhi you can visit the old Delhi market, the Indian parliament buildings, and Humayun's Tomb - all impressive sights worth seeing. But a few hours' drive from Delhi, you can see a true Wonder of the World - The Taj Mahal. Now, I live near Niagara Falls, and to be honest, it has nothing on the Taj Mahal. It is simply mind-blowing in terms of its architecture and what was involved in building it. DomainX will be taking some attendees on a tour of the Taj Mahal on August 6, 2016, but you can also go on your own, and it is a relatively short drive away on a new highway. In Hyderabad, it is worth visiting the Taj Faluknuma hotel, which is one of the great hotels of the world. It used to be a palace owned by the richest man on earth. He kept a diamond so big that he used it as a doorstop.

But aside from these two great cities and Agra, where the Taj Mahal is located, also take the time to visit some wonderful places like Udaipur, Rajasthan, Kerala, Mumbai, and the other many incredible places throughout India. Udaipur is where part of Octopussy was filmed - at the Taj Lake Palace hotel - as you may recall from the below picture.

4.     Enjoy the Indian Food with New Indian Friends

When networking at DomainX or ICANN, be sure to make some new friends who can show you some genuine Indian cuisine at local favorites. At DomainX 2015, I met one fellow who put me on to my all time favorite restaurant, Punjabi By Nature, which despite the somewhat odd name, featured incredible north Indian cuisine, such as marinated and grilled leg of mutton. Wherever you go, you will see "Thalis" on offer, which are set dinners of various dishes, available in vegetarian and non-veg, such as the one depicted below:

5.   Learn About Indian History

Before you go, take some time to research the amazing history of India through documentaries and books. The most fascinating documentary on the subject that I saw, was Michael Wood's "The Story of India". Nobody does documentaries like the BBC. Also, go back and watch the Gandhi movie with Ben Kingsley, which is extraordinarily well done, and will mean a lot more to you once you visit India for yourself.

By Zak Muscovitch.

If I was great at business I probably would have not have become an Internet lawyer. That being said, through my work, I do see a lot of successful and unsuccessful businesses, and have learned a thing or two about the domain name industry over the past 14 years. Whenever I read about the new gTLD's, I always have to ask myself, are these morons or geniuses?

I have resisted openly commenting on the business case of new TLD's for some time since I know so many people who are involved in them one way or another. Nevertheless, whenever I read about the new TLD's, my immediate reaction is that for the most part, new TLD's will never fly. I can't help but think of other extensions such as .museum, .aero, etc., and also wonder why anybody would really want to buy a new TLD domain name. Do you really want an email address of [email protected]? Will, for example, Samsung really want or need [email protected] or www.Televisions.Samsung? The whole thing makes absolutely no sense to me, frankly. I just don't see the market for nearly any of them, making we wonder whether investing in them is moronic.

But, on the other hand, when I see big money being raised, when I see very successful businessmen involved, when I see that the people behind the new TLD's are far more adept and accomplished in business than myself, I think maybe instead of being morons for paying $185,000 per application, they are actually geniuses.

Take for example, Internet entrepreneur, Colin Campbell, whose prior successes include Tucows Interactive and Hostopia.com. He is leading the effort to launch .Club as a new gTLD. His company, .Club Domains, LLC just "won the rights to the new gTLD via the first "private auction: to be completed since ICANN began the new gTLD process". In its press release, .Club Domains LLC also announced that it had exercised its option to complete a $7 million funding round". Bottom line, if an Internet visionary and entrepreneur like Colin Campbell feels that .Club is worth being the successful bidder for, and that it is worth  investing $7 million in, then who am I to question his business acumen. Even though I don't "see it", it is likely that he "does see it", and is therefore likely a genius rather than a moron.

Also take for example, Frank Schilling, a domain name pioneer and incredibly successful and adept businessman. He applied for a reported 54 top level domain names. Again, I don't see the market for these 54  new gTLD's that Frank Schilling's Uniregistry company applied for, but he ought to know better.

Accordingly, guys like Campbell and Schilling are extraordinarily well placed to see the future of domain names, and perhaps that is what makes them leaders, because they see what many don't. Perhaps they see business opportunities that exist apart from actually selling domains to registrants. Accordingly, I am prepared to, and want to believe, that they are geniuses when it comes to the new gTLD's, despite my initial and current scepticism.

An IDNForums.com member recently asked me a good question and I took the time to answer it. I thought that I would share my answer here, although I have of course removed the specifics from the situation and changed some facts to keep things confidential. Accordingly, the domains etc. referred to below are made-up for illustrative purposes only. If anyone has any thoughts on this I would like to hear them. In particular, I am still on the look out for a case that pits a foreign language domain name against an ASCII transliteration.

Your question to me was whether your Chinese language domain name, which you have owned since 2001, meaning EXCITEMENT, is safe from a UDRP if you never offer to sell it or put ads on the site, considering that there is a well established web site owned by a large company that has the ASCII Chinese transliteration equivalent, and they have been around since before you registered the Chinese character version.

The UDRP covers Chinese language dot coms (See this Verisign FAQ). Pursuant to the UDRP, any claimant would under would have to meet the three-part test:

1. Whether the domain name is confusingly similar;
2. Whether the registrant has a legitimate interest in the domain name; and
3. Whether the registrant registered and used the domain name in bad faith.

There does not appear to be any consensus or conclusion regarding how the three part test applies to IDN’s when it comes to foreign language equivalents of ASCII trademarks (See for example this article, and see also this one).

In my opinion, a UDRP Panel hearing an IDN case involving foreign language equivalents of a trademark, would first determine whether in fact the Complainant owns an alleged trademark that pre-existed the disputed domain name.

I would start by checking out the trademark registry in China and performing a thorough search for both the ASCII transliteration version and the Chinese language equivalent.

I would be somewhat surprised if the operator of EXCITEMENT.COM (Chinese language) did not have a trademark registered before your domain registration. Even if they didn’t however, it is my opinion that they would likely be found to have held “common law trademark rights” prior to your domain name registration based upon extensive use of the domain name. I come to this conclusion based upon the fact that they had operated the site for some time before your registration (see archive.org).

Accordingly, the next step would be for the Panel to determine if the disputed (Chinese language) domain name was confusingly similar with ASCII Chinese transliteration. This is where the law is unsettled in particular. Nevertheless, it is my opinion that the Panel would apply the doctrine of foreign equivalents and thereby determine that the disputed domain name and the common law trademark are confusingly similar.

The Panel would then look to see if you had a legitimate interest in the domain name. In order to show a legitimate interest, the best evidence is your actual use of the domain name. I realize that the Chinese transliteration EXCITEMENT.COM portal covers a lot of topics, it being a general search portal full of content, but there is still plenty of room to build a web site for all kinds of things, for example, a web site development company. You would be well advised however to ensure that there are no conflicting trademarks in connection with your use of the domain name. Not using a domain name is sometimes considered “passive holding” and shows a lack of legitimate interest and sometimes bad faith. Furthermore, PPC links are always problematic, even though some Panels treat them as a legitimate use.

In this part of the test, you would also show that your domain name is a common word, meaning "excitement". You would argue that you have a legitimate interest in any descriptive, common dictionary word. You would also show how the term, "excitement" and the Chinese transliteration equivalent are used by numerous companies for all kinds of goods and services and the Complainant does not enjoy any kind of monopoly on the term. You would also point out that they have sat on their rights, if any, by not trying earlier to take the domain name.

Then it comes to whether you registered and used the domain name in bad faith. The Panel might look to what other domain names you have registered to see if there is a pattern of registering trademarks or other domain names that try and take advantage of someone’s ASCII domain name. They would want to see if you targeted this domain name because you likely knew about the ASCII site, or whether this dictionary term was just one amongst many other dictionary terms that you registered, thereby showing that you likely registered it because it is a common term, not because of the trademark owner’s web site.

So, in conclusion, not offering to sell and not using PPC is a good idea, but developing is the best idea. Furthermore, you need to make sure that your background is clear of any evidence that could be used to show a pattern of registering infringing domain names, and also clear of any evidence that could indicate that you targeted the ASCII web site.

I wanted to take a moment to profusely thank a couple of my fellow Bloggers who have warmly welcomed me to the “blogosphere” and took the time to link to my blog and say some very nice and generous things about me.

Robert Borhi, author of DomainReport.ca, who I have never met but look forward to meeting. He generously gave me a very nice mention on his web site. I found Robert’s blog to include many articles that had information that I was not aware of and found very useful and interesting. I will be visiting often.

Jeffrey Behrendt, author of DomainBits.com, is someone who has always been very supportive and appreciate of my work in domain name law, and wrote some exceptionally kind, thoughtful, and encouraging words of welcome to me and my new blog. Jeffrey is an excellent reporter who does this ingenious thing where he interviews people by email and gets great content and great interviews. Although he does not know it, by me watching him do his thing with blogs, he served as an inspiration to me to start one myself, despite the fact that I am as Web 1.0 as you can get, although I am trying…I lstarted linking in, facebooking, and blogging, all in one week…I don’t have the stomach to Twitter quite yet….

An interesting news story reveals that China is ranks first in trademark applications, amongst all the world.

According to The Peoples Daily, “As of September 15, this year 1.005 million applications for trademark registration in China have been reviewed, up 153 percent year-on-year. The figure, covering eight and a half months, equals that of the previous three years and three months, marking an important milestone in China’s trademark history. At present, China ranks first in the world in volume of trade mark applications, reviews and registrations, and has become a world leader for trademarks. Reporters learned that the volume of China’s trademark applications has ranked first in the world for seven consecutive years from 2002 to 2008. The number of trademark applications is expected to exceed 700,000 this year, ranking first in the world.”

This is a startling number, but makes perfect sense given China’s huge populations and its remarkable growth as a business powerhouse. We can expect a lot of trademark litigation and domain name disputes out of China. I have become a member of the International Domain Name Forum a web site about the ever increasing and increasingly popular non Western domain names, e.g. in chinese characters. Its been fascinating to learn about this new frontier of domain names.