Panorama of Japanese domain names
IP Twins will be in Kobe, Japan, at the ICANN 64 meeting, which will be held from March 9-14, 2019. This is an opportunity to spotlight the Land of the Rising Sun. The Japanese ecosystem of domain names is at the forefront. At the beginning of 2018, the number of .JP domain names exceeded 1.5 million, including a very large majority of ASCII domain names (approximately 1 million), which gives a significant margin for Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) (see Japanese registry statistics). The registry offers the possibility of registering third-level domain names in defined categories such as .CO.JP for companies (extremely popular, with more than 400,000 domain names) or .AC.JP for universities. Like many ccTLDs, the registration of a .JP is based on a territorial criterion: the applicant must provide a primary address located in Japan. For example, foreign companies may register a .JP or .CO.JP domain name if they are properly registered as such (Gaikoku Kaisha).
Disputes relating to the registration or use of domain names are administered by the Japan Network Information Center in accordance with the jpDRP principles and the jpDRP rules of procedure. By default, the procedure is conducted in Japanese. The jpDRP differs from the UDRP in several ways, two of which are worth recalling: it is necessary to be the owner of a trademark registered in Japan; it is sufficient to prove bad faith either at the registration stage or at the stage of use.
On the geoTLD side, several municipalities and territories have adopted their own TLDs: .kyoto, .nagoya, .okinawa, .osaka, .ryukyu, .tokyo, .yokohama. However, some of Japan’s major cities have yet to expand, including Sapporo and Kawasaki, which may pose some legal challenges as the names of these two cities are also trademarks. This is also the case of Kobe. Hopefully hosting an ICANN event will give some ideas to the municipal government members.
As for brandTLDs, some of the largest Japanese companies have matched their brand with a TLD. This is the case for the following brands: .canon, .datsun, .epson, .fujitsu, .fujixerox, .goldpoint (Yodobashi), グ ー グ ル (.google), .hisamitsu, .hitachi, .honda, .komatsu, .mitsubishi , .nhk, .nikon, .nissan, .nissay, .okinawa, .otsuka, .panasonic, .playstation, .ricoh, .sakura, .sony, .suzuki, .toshiba, .toyota, .yodobashi. Given its experience in building brandTLDs, IP Twins will be happy to help Japanese companies in the acquisition and management of their brandTLD.
The Japanese DNS landscape also shows several gTLDs in Japanese, including: セ ー ル (.vente),. フ ァ ッ シ ョ ン (.mode),. ス ト ア (.store),. ク ラ ウ ド (cloud),. み ん な (.theworld), and. ラ ウ. (.com).
The Japanese panorama of domain names offers great opportunities for companies seeking to perfect their portfolio of domain names. In this regard, the new gTLDs in Japanese, existing and future, help penetrate the Japanese market.
Let’s meet at Kobe to talk about naming and protecting brands online.