THE MISSION AND PURPOSE OF THE NEW RESTRICTED .UBS gTLD IS TO BENEFIT INTERNET USERS BY ENSURING INCREASED TRUST AND CONFIDENCE THROUGH THE ELIMINATION OF USER CONFUSION AND ASSURANCE OF BRAND AUTHENTICITY. The new .ubs gTLD will operate as a restricted registry, in which UBS AG (UBS) can create... Read more
THE MISSION AND PURPOSE OF THE NEW RESTRICTED .UBS gTLD IS TO BENEFIT INTERNET USERS BY ENSURING INCREASED TRUST AND CONFIDENCE THROUGH THE ELIMINATION OF USER CONFUSION AND ASSURANCE OF BRAND AUTHENTICITY.
The new .ubs gTLD will operate as a restricted registry, in which UBS AG (UBS) can create and control domain spaces that promote its UBS brand identity and authenticity. In this regard, the .ubs gTLD will be provide an authoritative internet space for UBS and its affiliates to provide information, services and resources to consumers in a way that promotes trust, convenience and utility. Second and third level domains can then be utilised for brand development purposes, with internet users assured of brand authenticity.
Headquartered in Zurich and Basel in Switzerland, UBS is a global firm providing financial services to private, corporate and institutional clients worldwide as well as retail clients in Switzerland. UBS's business strategy is centred on its pre-eminent global wealth management businesses and its universal bank in Switzerland. UBS combines its client-focused Investment Banking, strong and well-diversified Global Asset Management business and premier Wealth Management franchise with its Swiss operations to deliver superior financial solutions. UBS comprises of the Corporate Center and 4 business divisions - Wealth Management & Swiss Bank, Wealth Management Americas, Global Asset Management and the Investment Bank. UBS is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and employs over 65,000 people in its offices across approximately 60 countries such as Switzerland, UK, US, Hong Kong and all major financial centres. UBS was formed from a merger between Union Bank of Switzerland and Swiss Bank of Corporation in 1998. At the time of the merger, both banks were already well-established and successful in their own right. UBS, an abbreviation of Union Bank of Switzerland, has origins dating from 1862. Today, UBS is an established firm with a pivotal role in the development and growth of Swiss banking traditions. In this regard, consumer trust and continuous innovation are paramount considerations in all of UBS's activities.
Since the inception of the current domain name system, business activities conducted on the internet are constantly changing and evolving with increased complexity. The volume of commercial transactions over the internet is constantly growing and bringing benefits of simplicity and lowered transaction costs to businesses and consumers. However, at the same time, criminal activities over the internet including data breach, hacking and phishing activities have also become more sophisticated resulting in loss of consumer confidence beyond mere monetary harm. The .ubs gTLD will facilitate greater trust and assurance from internet users connecting with UBS online, whilst still allowing convenient and efficient interaction.
UBS's mission and purpose of the proposed new gTLD share ICANN's initiatives to promote public interest. UBS is committed to contribute towards achieving such initiatives in line with ICANN's Affirmation of Commitments, which includes:
- consumer trust: the .ubs gTLD registry will be operated in a centralised manner with a restrictive registration policy. Registration of domain names will only be available to UBS and its affiliate entities, at this stage, which will provide added consumer trust that .ubs domain names are trustworthy. As .ubs domain names are subject to registration standards, policies and procedures under UBS's control, this eliminates the possibility of malicious conduct within the .ubs domain space;
- competition: the proposed new gTLD is not intended to instigate competition and consumer choice at the level of registration of domain names among prospective registrants. Instead it is anticipated to contribute to ICANN's initiatives to promote public interest through its operation focused on promoting consumer trust. Increased trust in the .ubs gTLD will drive existing and new top level domain (TLD) registry operators to make improvements in mechanisms to improve consumer trust of their TLDs; and
- consumer choice: the proposed new gTLD will enable user-driven improvements and innovations assisting UBS's marketing efforts through its ability to create new second and third level domain names on demand. These names will provide the consumers with more choices for interacting with UBS. As UBS has effective control over the registration and use of domain names under the .ubs domain space, this will also contribute towards general service innovations on the internet.
Given the restricted nature of the .ubs gTLD, the projected number of registration is likely to be limited. It is anticipated that a limited number of 15 domain names will be registered in the first year. However, over the next few years, the number of registrations is likely to increase to about 50 domain names as UBS develops and implements new services and marketing campaigns such as creating product and service related domain names in the second or third level.
As the new .ubs gTLD expands and evolves, UBS will continue to comply with all operational, technical and policy requirements, as well as maintaining consumer trust and the stability of the internet. UBS will keep ICANN reasonably informed of any material developments relating to the .ubs gTLD including compliance with the continued operations instrument obligations as set out in Specification 8 of the Registry Agreement.
At this stage, UBS does not intend to use geographic names and Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) at the second level. However, as the use of the .ubs gTLD evolves, UBS may consider utilising geographic names and/or IDNs within the .ubs domain space at a later stage. The use of geographic names and/or IDNs is intended to:
- allow internet users to engage with .ubs in their native language, creating a more positive user experience and encouraging diversity;
- connect internet users with relevant information as applicable to the territory; and
- comply with required rules and regulations in the national territory.
The use of geographic names will be in accordance with the registration policy and the proposed measures for protection of geographic names as outlined in response to Question 22.
UBS is a well-established global brand with its "UBS" trademark registered in about 140 countries and territories including UK, US and Switzerland for the following classes: Consultancy services such as market research and other services for third parties (35) and Financial services (36).
Further, UBS has an extensive domain name portfolio with over 150 existing domain names with an exact match to the applied-for .ubs string and its "UBS" trademark in spaces such as ubs.biz, ubs.info, ubs.asia, ubs.com, ubs.us, ubs.cn and ubs.hk. UBS also holds over 800 existing domain names containing the .ubs gTLD in spaces including ubsfinancialservices.info and ubsinvestmentbank.jp. Recently, UBS was successful in securing the ubs.co domain name registration during the sunrise phase for the .co domain space based on UBS' existing trademark registrations.
UBS believes that the .ubs gTLD is unlikely to cause confusion with either a generic term or any existing TLDs. UBS trademarks are a leading global brand with significant worldwide reputation particularly in the banking industry. UBS has used the "UBS" term in conjunction with its financial, investment and wealth management businesses since 1912 when its predecessor, Union Bank of Switzerland, was formed through the merger of two former banks. As such, the UBS brand has deep historical roots in the banking industry.×