A new cityTLD is coming: .MADRID
The Spanish capital has a city-TLD .MADRID.
Each and every new Top-Level-Domain is a new gateway for cybersquatters to find new opportunities, whether the new Top-Level-Domains are gTLDs (examples are recurrent as the following table shows) or geoTLDs (see, among many examples, that of ritzcarlton.tokyo).
Initially scheduled for April 2019, the sunrise period will run (except new delay), from 16 July 2019 (from 13:00 Madrid time) to 3 October 2019. Article 3.1 of the .MADRID Policy Launch lays down the following eligibility conditions:
a) To be a resident in the Region of Madrid (Comunidad de Madrid), or
b) To pursue occupational, personal, business or cultural activities in the Region of Madrid (Comunidad de Madrid), or
c) To have a nexus, whether direct or indirect, with the Region of Madrid“.
Since the registry does not specify what is meant by “direct or indirect”, it is likely to be interpreted on a case-by-case basis. This textual blur is unfortunate because it could give rise to arbitrary situations.
In addition, the candidates for .MADRID domain names will have to reveal the use for which the reservation of a domain name is envisaged. Any false declaration could lead to suspension of the domain name (article 4.5).
In case of conflict between two or more trademarks, the so-called “local trademarks” will be given priority. Article 7.4.1 specifies that “local trademarks” means the trademarks registered and in force in Spain at the time of application for registration of the domain name, which includes trademarks registered with the Spanish IP Office, trademarks registered with the European Union Intellectual Property Office, and international trademarks that designate Spain under the Madrid System.
It is strongly recommended to participate in the sunrise period to guarantee the reservation of domain names reproducing the verbal elements of a trademark. This advice is all the more relevant if the owner of the trademark does have an activity in the Madrid area.
Finally, the .MADRID will be available to the public on October 10, 2019 (at 1:00 pm).