.watches Domain Information
Applicant Full Legal Name
Richemont DNS Inc.
Corporation incorporated in Switzerland
Richemont DNS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Richemont Holdings AG
Applied for gTLD
Mission/Purpose of Domain Extension
Describe the Mission and Purpose of your gTLD The content of this Answer to Question 18 set forth below which describes the plans for Richemont DNS's registry constitutes the "purpose" of the registry as that term is used in paragraph 1.b. of Specification 9 of the Draft New gTLD Registry... Read more
Describe the Mission and Purpose of your gTLD
The content of this Answer to Question 18 set forth below which describes the plans for Richemont DNS's registry constitutes the "purpose" of the registry as that term is used in paragraph 1.b. of Specification 9 of the Draft New gTLD Registry Agreement found in Module 5 of the Richemont DNS Guidebook dated January 11, 2012 ("the Purpose"). Richemont DNS will publish its Charter and its policies, guidelines, and other supporting documentation related to the implementation of the registry consistent with the Purpose, all prior to launch. All second level domain names registered by Richemont DNS on behalf of itself or an affiliate will be registered through an ICANN-accredited registrar and will be consistent with the Purpose. All registrants of second level domain names will be affiliates of Richemont DNS or will be parties operating under a written contractual agreement specifically allowing the registration of a second level domain name within this registry (the "Prerequisite Agreement").
Spring powered clocks appeared in the 15th century. Watches evolved from these in the 17th century and were at first simply mechanical. With technological developments, the useof quartz movements have overtaken these mechanisms and by 1970, the development of the first digital electronic watch was in place.
Over the last few years, there has been a significant growth in the luxury watch market with a trend towards exceptional pieces for collectors and consumers alike as well as new movements. Another trend is the end of dependence by watch companies on a single supplier and the development of a trend towards the verticalisation of production with companies also taking distribution in-house where possible.
Some of the most famous watchmakers in the world form part of Compagnie Financière Richemont S.A., ("CFR"), a Swiss luxury goods holding company, which was created in 1988. Specialist watch makers within CFR include IWC, Jaeger Le-Coultre, Piaget, Vacheron Constantin, Officine Panerai, Baume & Mercier, A. Lange & Sὂhne, Manufacture Roger Dubuis and a joint venture with Ralph Lauren Watches & Jewelry. In 2011, they accounted for €1,774 million in sales or 26% of Group sales. This application is being made by Richemont DNS Inc.,(referred to herein as "Richemont DNS" ), one of CFR's indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries. The group of companies whose ultimate parent company is CFR are referred to herein collectively as "Richemont".
Richemont's luxury businesses operate globally. The largest market is Asia-Pacific, which generates more than 40 per cent of sales. We believe the diversity of our geographical operations, with a lack of dependency on any one market, represents a long-term competitive advantage.
Richemont directly employs more than 20,000 people worldwide and has employees based in all major regions of the world. Two-thirds of Richemont's employees are based in Europe, but Asia-Pacific and the Americas are also significant and growing areas of employment. The majority of Richemont's employees in Europe are based in Switzerland, France, and Germany, where the manufacture of luxury goods is concentrated. Asia and the Far East are growing markets. In all regions, employees are engaged in retail, distribution, after sales service and/or administrative functions.
Richemont ‘A' shares are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange, Richemont's primary listing, and are included in the Swiss Market Index (‘SMI') of leading stocks. Richemont's South African Depository Receipts are listed in Johannesburg, Richemont's secondary listing. Richemont is the eighth largest company in the Swiss Market Index and, as of 2007, Richemont was the third-largest luxury goods company in the world by annual revenues. In the 2010/2011 financial year, Richemont sales were €6.892 billion, a rise of 33% on the previous year (at actual exchange rates) and our operating profit rose by 63% to €1.355 billion.
Investments in research, development and innovation extend to watch movements, new product designs and marketing-related activities. The annual accounting charge for research and development costs in this product category is some €20 million.
The .Watches registry will be a standard, i.e. not a community-based, restricted registry. Its main purpose will be:
• To provide a trusted source of good public information to benefit those interested in watches and all members of the watchmaking, thereby counteracting any inaccurate information about watchmaking. Richemont has a portfolio of watch brands with registered intellectual property rights around the world. Securing the term, .Watches, will enable Richemont to harmonise its current brand protection policies and to mitigate counterfeiting, a scourge of the luxury goods industry, for governments and consumers alike;
• To provide a platform for the delivery of secure digital material for both industry professionals and consumers;
• To ensure Richemont remains at the forefront of innovation by keeping pace with internet technology developments; and
• To provide a single, trusted source for the press and governments regarding our watch making portfolio of businesses, models, and brands.
The success of the .Watches registry will be determined by the enhancement in the equity of Richemont's watch making businesses and in terms of the security and stability it brings to our communications with customers, the press, and governments. Since there will be no market in second level domain name registrations in this registry, success will not be measured by the number of second level domain name registrations.×
How do you expect that your proposed gTLD will benefit registrants, internet users and others? The registry will be stringently controlled by authorised Richemont DNS personnel on behalf of the Richemont group of companies but it is predicted that it will also benefit the following stakeholders,... Read more
How do you expect that your proposed gTLD will benefit registrants, internet users and others?
The registry will be stringently controlled by authorised Richemont DNS personnel on behalf of the Richemont group of companies but it is predicted that it will also benefit the following stakeholders, all in the global public interest:
• Our customers: whether they are industry professionals or consumers, a new .Watches registry will benefit them by becoming a location for authentic, accessible information about the company and its specialist watch collections.
• Our employees: a new gTLD will reinforce our brand worldwide and provide a more secure communication channel.
• Our authorized dealers: a new gTLD will provide our authorized dealer network with a space that sets them apart from counterfeiters and provides them with the direct relation to these specialist watches in the minds of the public.
• Our investors seeking accurate information regarding our watch making operations, management, goods and services.
• Law enforcement seeking information about genuine products.
What is the goal of your proposed gTLD in terms of areas of speciality, service levels
At Richemont, we pride ourselves on the integrity of our group brands and the high quality of our luxury goods. This will be reflected in the treatment of the new gTLD on our watchmakers' behalf. The goal is to position Richemont DNS, on behalf of our specialist watchmakers, to exploit this latest internet advance in order to further enhance the Richemont group brands and reputation. We hope that this registry will be regarded by customers, as well as by the investors who follow our group companies, as the authentic location for accurate information on Richemont's watch collections and products.
What do you anticipate your proposed gTLD will add to the current space in terms of competition, differentiation or innovation?
Richemont DNS is eager to operate a registry with shorter domain names that are universally applicable across the globe. We feel it offers clarity, simplicity and will enable our customers to place their trust in our registry while also providing potential for enhanced communication with them and with staff.
Richemont DNS looks forward to utilising the new registry in conjunction with our current domains and are particularly keen to market under the term .Watches in the future if the new gTLD process is a success. This new gTLD also enables us to leave behind complex naming hierarchies inherent in country code extensions.
Further, we believe that being an early adopter of the new gTLDs will provide us with a reputation as an industry leader. The free market and the Internet has a history of rewarding early adopters of innovations such as web presence (1990's), social media (2000's) and we are investing resources in a strategic bet that the new gTLDs will be the premier innovation of the 2010's.
Richemont hopes that customers and others who visit to communicate with our specialist watch brands know they are in a trusted and authentic destination once they arrive at the new gTLD. We want them to be confident that they will receive accurate information, that all products they view will be genuine, and that their sensitive personal details will be protected.
Provide a complete description of the Richemont DNS's intended registration policies in support of the goals above
Richemont DNS will be the operator of the .Watches registry. The Richemont DNS Domain Name Management team will be responsible for the development, maintenance and enforcement of the Richemont DNS Domain Management Policy. This policy will define the rules associated with eligibility and domain name allocation, set out the terms governing the use of a .Watches domain name (which require that registrant to be an affiliate of Richemont and/or will require the registrant to be a party to a Prerequisite Agreement) and describe the dispute resolution policies for the .Watches gTLD. This policy is intended to be updated and revised regularly to reflect Richemont's commercial and strategic interests and, where appropriate, ICANN consensus policies as they are developed.
Registration of a .Watches domain name will be undertaken in four steps: Eligibility Confirmation, Naming Convention Check, Acceptable Use Review, and finally Registration. All domains in the .Watches registry will remain the property of Richemont DNS.
Each applied for A-label character string must conform to the .Watches rules of eligibility. Each .Watches name must:
• Be at least 3 characters and no more than 63 characters long
• Not contain a hyphen on the 3rd and 4th position (except IDNs)
• Contain only letters (a-z), numbers (0-9) and hyphens or a combination of these
• Start and end with an alphanumeric character, not a hyphen
• Not match any character strings reserved by ICANN
• Not match any protected country names or geographical terms
Internationalized domain names (IDN) may be supported in the .Watches registry at the second level.
Users of .Watches names must utilise their domains solely for purposes that enhance Richemont's strategic or commercial interests. .Watches domains may not be used in a way which knowingly infringes any third party intellectual property rights or gives rise to moral or public order questions.
Users of .Watches names may not delegate or assign any rights in .Watches domains to external organizations, institutions, or individuals.
All .Watches domains will carry accurate and up to date registration records.
The Richemont DNS Domain Name Management Team may revoke a .Watches domain name at any time in line with Richemont's corporate and strategic interests. Termination of affiliate status and/or termination of any Prerequisite Agreement will result in revocation of any corresponding second level domain name registration.
The .Watches registry will be ICANN compliant: the registry will interface with the Trademark Clearinghouse, operate a Sunrise and IP Claims and all registrants must comply with the UDRP and the URS and other consensus policies as they are developed.
Will your proposed gTLD impose any measures for protecting the privacy of confidential information of registrants or users?
As a global luxury goods brand with a high profile, we take our responsibility to protect the confidential information of customers and staff very seriously.
The .Watches registry will continue our policy of protecting confidential information. Richemont DNS will comply with the Personal Data obligations of the ICANN Registry Agreement and all applicable data protection laws as interpreted and applied. As required, approved representatives will be registered as data handlers and trained to ensure compliance with ICANN's requirements.
• Document policies and procedures including an escalation process
• Use appropriate levels of encryption and physical security
• Train key staff and ensure responsibilities are understood and documented in rules of conduct
• Limit access to records only to those employees or service providers who need access for the performance of their job duties
• Test procedures
• Monitor best practice and ICANN's mandated and recommended policies
• Audit the work of providers including the Escrow provider and checking data.
Describe whether and in what ways outreach and communications will help to achieve your projected benefits?
We will produce and publish guidelines for internal use. These are intended to provide clarity on who can apply for a .Watches domain and how it is to be used. This is a standard, restricted registry closed to third parties so these guidelines should ensure that .Watches domains are used in accordance with Richemont's objectives by authorised Richemont DNS representatives. For example, it will be necessary to create a home page for the registry using straightforward messaging for the benefit of internal users so that our policies and the rules of eligibility are clearly understood.×
Operational Rules and Cost Benefits
What operating rules will you adopt to eliminate or minimize social costs (e.g. time or financial resource costs as well as various types of consumer vulnerabilities)? What other steps will you take to minimize negative consequences/costs imposed upon consumers? As previously stated, the .Watches... Read more
What operating rules will you adopt to eliminate or minimize social costs (e.g. time or financial resource costs as well as various types of consumer vulnerabilities)? What other steps will you take to minimize negative consequences/costs imposed upon consumers?
As previously stated, the .Watches registry will be a standard, restricted registry closed to third parties for use only by pre-validated representatives of Richemont who are parties to an existing Prerequisite Agreement or appropriate affiliates of Richemont group companies. Social costs and negative consequences on domain name customers are therefore likely to be minimised and possibly even eliminated. It is not intended that .Watches domains will be made available to anyone beyond Richemont or Richemont DNS. It could be that we will use .Watches, domains to promote recognition of our affiliated network of authorized dealers in time but again Richemont DNS will be strictly in control.
i. How will multiple applications for a particular domain be resolved, for example, by auction or on a first come first served basis?
We have no plans to sell .Watches domains. We are applying to protect and enhance our position as a leading creator of watches of the highest quality. There will be no market in .Watches domains. Therefore we will not receive multiple applications for a particular domain and so there will be no need for any resolution. We will control eligibility very strictly.
ii. Explain any cost benefits for registrants you intend to implement (e.g. advantageous pricing, introductory discounts, bulk registration discounts).
We plan to register all .Watches domain names to Richemont group companies or Richemont DNS. Although we anticipate that our affiliated network of authorized dealers will benefit from the .Watches registry in terms of heightened profile, we do not see the need to devise cost benefits for registrants.
iii. The Registry Agreement requires that registrars be offered the option to obtain initial domain name registrations for periods of one to ten years at the discretion of the registrar, but no greater than 10 years. Additionally the Registry Agreement requires advance written notice of price increases. Do you intend to make contractual commitments to registrants regarding the magnitude of price escalation?
While we will comply with all ICANN consensus policies, the term of registration is the choice of the registrant of a second level domain name, not the choice of a registrar. The Richemont DNS Domain Name Management Team, as registrant, will set the period of registration for .Watches domains. We are applying for .Watches to support Richemont's strategic goals and to protect Richemont's IP not to generate revenues from selling domains. Therefore there will be no need to make contractual commitments, nor to consider issues around pricing including price escalation, though we will comply with the provisions of Section 2.10 of the Registry Agreement.
Before launching this TLD, Richemont DNS will develop and publish its Charter, policies and guidelines, setting out full details of how the registry will implement its vision and purpose as set out in this answer. Richemont DNS, on behalf of Richemont, may adapt its policies and proposed use of the gTLD, in a manner consistent with the Purpose, to reflect changes in its business and the adoption of new gTLDs by the community.
Is this a Community-based TLD?
Is this a Geographic-based TLD?
Protection of Geographic Names
Richemont DNS is committed to running .Watches in full compliance with all applicable laws, consensus policies, best practice guidelines, RFCs and the Specifications of the Registry Agreement. Richemont DNS therefore commits that it will follow GAC advice and Specification 5 and block from initial... Read more
Richemont DNS is committed to running .Watches in full compliance with all applicable laws, consensus policies, best practice guidelines, RFCs and the Specifications of the Registry Agreement. Richemont DNS therefore commits that it will follow GAC advice and Specification 5 and block from initial registration those country and territory names contained in the following lists:
1. The short form (in English) of all country and territory names contained on the ISO 3166- 1 list, as updated from time to time, including the European Union; and
2. The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names, Technical Reference Manual for the Standardization of Geographical Names, Part III Names of Countries of the World; and
3. The list of United Nations member states in 6 official United Nations languages prepared by the Working Group on Country Names of the United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names.
The process for reserving these names, and hence blocking them from registration, will be agreed with our technical service provider Neustar, who has committed to supporting this process.
Because .Watches is a single entity registry, with all domains being held in the ownership of Richemont DNS, and for purposes which serve Richemont DNS's strategic business aims, the reserved names cannot be offered to Governments or other official bodies for their own use as this would conflict with the Mission and Purpose of the TLD. For the same reason, they will not be offered to third parties. It is possible that at some future time limited use may be allowed to help Governments advertise their local anti-counterfeiting initiatives, but at the moment such plans are not finalized. Any decision to do so would be in coordination with such Governments. Reserved names will not be offered to third parties under any other circumstances.
We envisage that over time, there will be demand from brand TLDs leading to the development of a standardised process for requesting GAC review and ICANN approval for the release of country and territory names for registration by the Registry Operator when the registry is a single entity registry. When such a process is in place, Richemont DNS expects to apply for the release of country and territory names within .Watches. At this time Richemont DNS will develop a process to permit government, public authorities or other relevant bodies to challenge any use of a name which they perceive to be abusive.×