.booking Domain Information
Applicant Full Legal Name
Limited liability company
Priceline.com Bookings Acquisition Company Limited
Amsterdam 1017 CE
Applied for gTLD
Mission/Purpose of Domain Extension
Booking.com BV, a subsidiary of Priceline.com (Nasdaq:PCLN), is the No.1 online hotel reservations agency in the world, in terms of the number of online hotel room nights sold. Booking.com is dedicated to offering the best rates for all of the accommodation offered, attracting over 30 million... Read more
Established in 1996, Booking.com BV offers competitive rates for any type of property, ranging from small independent hotels to a five star luxury. The Booking.com website is available in 41 languages and offers more than 168,000 affiliated hotels in 160 countries around the world.
Booking.com B.V. is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and is supported internationally by offices in: Amsterdam - Athens - Auckland - Bangkok - Barcelona - Berlin - Brussels - Buenos Aires - Cambridge - Cape Town - Casablanca - Chicago - Copenhagen - Dubai - Dublin - Edinburgh - Grand Rapids - Hong Kong - Honolulu - Houston - Innsbruck - Istanbul - Kuala Lumpur - Las Palmas de Gran Canaria - Las Vegas - Lille - Lisbon - London - Loulé (PT) - Lyon - Madrid - Málaga - Mexico City - Miami - Milano - Montréal - Moscow - Munich - New York - Nice - Norwalk - Orlando - Oslo - Paris - Prague - Riga - Rome - San Francisco - São Paulo - Shanghai - Singapore - Stockholm - Sydney - Tokyo - Vancouver - Venice - Vienna - Warsaw - Zagreb - Zürich.
Booking.com is the Applicant's most recognized and known brand, having a global exposure and a truly international clientele.
According to the Applicant, the main intended purpose of the .booking TLD will be manifold, as will be further explained in the following, including possible use cases:
i. Protect the distinctive element out of the Applicant's key brand ("BOOKING") as a gTLD;
ii. Reflect and operate the distinctive element out of the Applicant's key brand ("BOOKING") at the top level of the DNS' hierarchy;
iii. Possibly provide stakeholders of the Applicant with a recognizable and trusted identifier on the Internet. Such stakeholders may include, but are not limited to:
* its subsidiaries in various countries;
* business affiliates and partners, including individual hotels and hotel chains;
* prospective and current customers; and
* directors, officers and employees of the Applicant, its subsidiaries, partners and/or business affiliates.
iv. Provide such stakeholders with a secure and safe Internet environment that is mainly or even fully under the control of the Applicant and its subcontractors;
v. Possibly provide customers of Booking.com and users of the .booking gTLD with a service that aims at putting users first;
vi. Offering multilingual hotel reservation services that are directly or indirectly accessible under specific domain names registered in the .booking gTLD.
This just gives an idea of how Booking.com could use .booking in the future. In the beginning, and until further developing a detailed plan to use this new gTLD, Booking.com's intention is to implement a so-called "single registrant TLD" as contemplated by ICANN in Article 4.5 of the template Registry Operator Agreement ("Transition of Registry upon Termination of Agreement") and as further described below.
Booking.com intends to organize the registry operation for the .booking gTLD in such a manner that it will minimize the likelihood of having multiple applications or registration requests for a particular domain name. According to the Applicant, Booking.com, this can be achieved in any of the... Read more
According to the Applicant, Booking.com, this can be achieved in any of the following ways, which likely needs to be further refined following ICANN's award and delegation of the .booking gTLD to Booking.com:
i. From the Applicant's perspective, .booking may bring a high degree of recognition and specialization to the currently existing name space. Where in most cases the specific connotation that has been initially given to the gTLDs (or even ccTLDs) has disappeared, the .booking top-level domain is currently intended to be unambiguous as regards:
* the identity of the Booking.com as the Registry Operator;
* the source of the content and services offered under the .booking gTLD;
* the affiliation between the Registry Operator and the . Booking gTLD; and
* in term, and at the discretion of Booking.com, the affiliation between the Registry Operator and any third party that is authorized by the Booking.com to register and/or use one or more domain name registrations in the .booking gTLD.
ii. As mentioned in the vision and mission statement above, the key reasons why Applicant is applying for .booking include but are not limited to:
1. Securing and protecting the BOOKING.COM brand as a generic top-level domain.
Booking.com holds various registered trademarks for BOOKING.COM. The main reason for which Booking.com submits this application for the .booking gTLD is that it wants to prevent third parties from securing a gTLD that is identical or confusingly similar to Booking.com's highly distinctive and reputable brand.
2. Marketing and branding: reflect the most distinctive element out of Applicant's key brand ("BOOKING") at the top-level of the DNS' hierarchy;
3. Safety and security; and
4. Implement measures - in the near or distant future - to mitigate counterfeiting and piracy.
iii. The Applicant intends to implement the following policies and procedures with respect to the registration of domain names in the .booking top-level domain:
(i) reservation and registration of domain names in the name of Booking.com. It is likely that this will be the scenario that Booking.com will put in place during the first months or even years of operation of the .booking gTLD.
These names may include, but are not limited to:
a. descriptive names, referring to the actual day-to-day business activities of the Applicant;
b. descriptive names, referring to the internal departments of the Applicant;
c. descriptive names, referring to the subsidiaries, business affiliates and/or partners of the Applicant;
d. potentially also names relating to other stakeholders of Booking.com, to be determined by Booking.com following ICANN's award and delegation of the .booking gTLD to Booking.com.
(ii) launch of the TLD: if and when implemented by the Registry Operator, this is likely going to be a gradual process, whereby selected third parties that meet certain criteria, which Booking.com will be entitled to set at its own discretion, may register domain names in the .booking gTLD. These processes may include the following:
a. Sunrise: allow physical persons, organizations and entities that meet the eligibility requirements determined by Booking.com at that point in time to choose and, where allowed by Booking.com, to register the domain names that are identical to their trademarks;
b. Land rush and general availability: other available domain names may be registered by physical persons, organizations and entities that meet the eligibility requirements in force at that point in time to choose the domain names in accordance with the applicable terms and conditions.
Depending on the terms and conditions in force at the time of launch of the TLD, these domain names may or may not be registered in the name of the applicant for the domain name or in the name of the Registry Operator of the TLD (i.e., Booking.com). In any case, Booking.com reserves the right to impose additional and other restrictions from time to time at its sole discretion. These restrictions will be mainly inspired by the following elements and factors:
a. protecting and safeguarding the Applicant's brand and reputation and
b.the Applicants plan to provide users of the .booking gTLD with a safe and secure experience.
iv. Given the fact that the Applicant is a company that is established in the Netherlands, it is subject to both European and national privacy and data protection rules and practices. In particular, given the fact that the European and Dutch data protection authorities have issued strict guidelines, Booking.com will at all times be obliged to carefully consider and, where applicable, implement these policies, and this prior to and during the operation of the .booking gTLD.
v. As indicated above, BOOKING.COM is Applicant's most recognized brand, having a global exposure, and a truly international clientele. The Applicant is a corporation that has been established in 1996 and has been trading under the BOOKING.COM brand since 2006.
At this stage, Booking.com has not developed concrete and tangible plans in order to move its online activities from its BOOKING.COM and many other active domain names used by Booking.com and its subsidiaries and affiliates. However, the Applicant has different ways in order to make existing and future customers, visitors and other stakeholders aware of the (gradual) development of a new online environment under the .booking TLD, including but not limited to:
a. Direct and indirect marketing and branding initiatives;
b. By way of brochures ;
c. Internet advertising campaigns, including paid search, pay-per-click advertising, etc.;
d. Having Internet traffic to the BOOKING.COM or other domain names resolving into domain names registered in the .booking TLD, which builds awareness with Internet users that the .booking gTLD exists;
e. Email marketing campaigns.×
Operational Rules and Cost Benefits
In line with Booking.com's mission and purpose for the .booking gTLD, it is first and foremost important for Booking.com to safeguard and protect the key element out of its BOOKING.COM trademark at the top level of the DNS' hierarchy. Such protection does not only extend to the actual registration,... Read more
Considering the fact that the actual award and delegation of the .booking gTLD to Booking.com is subject to the successful evaluation of our application, we have not yet defined in detail:
* the types of domain names that will be registered;
* who will be entitled to select which domain names will be registered
* who will be entitled to register such domain names;
* who will be entitled to use such domain names, and
* which types of use will be allowed or recommended.
As we believe that the development and implementation of one or more business cases could likely take a couple of months or even years, we have only focused on a number of high-level characteristics of our plans in relation to the operation of the .booking gTLD.
By all means, it is in Booking.com's self-interest to, on the one hand, make the most of this initiative, promote its own business interests, and mitigate risks for its brand and brand reputation, whilst also reducing the (social) costs for others.
In this context, we intend to devise policies that encompass and comprise the following features:
At least during the initial months or even years following the delegation of the .booking gTLD to Booking.com, this extension is likely going to be a so-called "single registrant TLD" as contemplated by ICANN in Article 4.5 of the template Registry Operator Agreement ("Transition of Registry upon Termination of Agreement"). For the avoidance of doubt, a "single registrant TLD" is a TLD where "(i) all domain name registrations in the TLD are registered to, and maintained by, Registry Operator for its own exclusive use, and (ii) Registry Operator does not sell, distribute or transfer control or use of any registrations in the TLD to any third party that is not an Affiliate of Registry Operator."
Therefore, parties who are not Booking.com will not be entitled to register domain names in the .booking gTLD.
Booking.com believes this to be in line with two of the main elements in its vision and mission statement, namely:
* Protecting and safeguarding the BOOKING.COM brand and its reputation, by keeping full control over the entire operation of the .booking registry and every domain name registered therein; and
* Guaranteeing to Booking.com's key stakeholders who are interacting with Booking.com, by using domain names registered in .booking that they are in fact interacting with the brand owner.
Consequently, there will be no (social) costs for non-eligible (third) parties, given the fact that they will be unable to register domain names in the .booking gTLD in the first place.
However, even if only Booking.com will be entitled to register domain names, this does not exclude the hypothesis that disputes may arise with one or more third parties as regards domain names that are registered in the .booking gTLD.
In order to avoid these risks, Booking.com intends to implement the following policies and processes:
First, the domain names to be registered by Booking.com will likely relate to the following:
* registered trademarks of Booking.com;
* names of affiliates or hotel partners of Booking.com;
* names of departments within Booking.com
* names of subsidiaries.
Furthermore, Booking.com envisages registering a fair number of generic words that are directly or indirectly related to the day-to-day business activities and operations of Booking.com and its Affiliates.
Prior to effectively registering such domain names in the .booking gTLD, Booking.com will require its legal department to review the list of these domain names on a regular basis in order to satisfy itself that they will not infringe the rights of third parties.
In any case, Booking.com shall claim to have a legitimate interest in these domain names, as they are merely descriptive of the activities, products or services of Booking.com. So even if one or more of these domain names would be protected by a registered trademark, held by a third party, it is likely that a claim under the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy or Uniform Rapid Suspension policy will fail.
As regards the names referred to in Specification 5 to the template Registry Operator Agreement, Booking.com will follow the processes and procedures established by ICANN and the Governmental Advisory Committee.
If Booking.com would determine, at its sole discretion, that it will gradually allow certain categories of stakeholders to register domain names in the .booking gTLD in their own name, Booking.com will devise policies to that effect.
However, Booking.com will at all times be entitled to restrict, limit or expand, among others:
* the category or categories of stakeholders who will be entitled to register one or more domain names in the .booking gTLD, including their criteria for qualification;
* the choice of domain name(s) registered in the .booking gTLD by and per such eligible stakeholder (category);
* the use made by an and per eligible stakeholder of a domain name registered in the .booking gTLD;
* the transfer of domain names registered in .booking..
Booking.com shall reserve the right to subject the registration or use of a domain name to internal approval processes and procedures, at each and every step of the domain name life cycle.
Given the fact that Booking.com may release such available domain names post launch in a highly controlled manner, this also reduces the likelihood that two or more applicants qualify for the registration of the same domain name in the .booking top-level domain;
As a method of last resort, and subject to the actual domain name registration policy adopted by the Registry Operator and in force at the time of registration, domain names will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
In any event, Booking.com reserves the right to change or restrict any policies, procedures and practices at any point in time, especially if it is of the opinion that there would be a risk that, e.g. the reputation of the BOOKING.COM brand would be damaged.
The Applicant intends to make the .booking top-level domain available to qualifying domain name registrants at no cost to them; if the Applicant / Registry Operator would be required to charge a fee for the registration of domain names under the .booking TLD, the fee will be set at a cost-recovery or arm's length basis, to be determined at that time by the Registry.
If Booking.com will be required to or would decide to increase the fees for the registration of domain names, such increases will keep pace with the comparable market rates at that point in time.
So, in brief:
1. The Applicant / Registry Operator may reserve, delegate and use a potentially large number of domain names that are directly or indirectly relevant to Applicant's business in its own name. Since some of these domain names could be of a descriptive nature, the chances for qualifying / eligible applicants / registrants to register such domain names after the launch will be limited;
2. The Registry Operator shall be entitled at all times to release available domain names post launch in a highly controlled manner, which also reduces the likelihood that two or more applicants qualify for the registration of the same domain name in the .booking top-level domain;
3. As a method of last resort, and subject to the actual domain name registration policy adopted by the Registry Operator and in force at the time of registration, domain names will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis;
4. If the Applicant decides to allow third parties to register a domain name under the .booking TLD, the Applicant intends to make.booking top-level domains available to qualifying domain name registrants at no cost to them; if the Applicant / Registry Operator would be required to charge a fee for the registration of domain names under the .booking TLD, the fee will be set at a cost-recovery or arm's length basis, to be determined at that time by the Registry;
5. If the Applicant / Registry Operator will be required to increase the fees for the registration of domain names, such increases are intended to keep pace with comparable market rates. However, the Registry Operator shall at all times be entitled to bundle the registration of domain names with other products or services offered by or on behalf of Booking.com at a fee to be set by the Registry Operator.×
Is this a Community-based TLD?
Is this a Geographic-based TLD?
Protection of Geographic Names
Given the fact that the Applicant is a hotel reservation agent, it has a vested interest in giving its visitors and clients a clear and predictable naming scheme in the .booking gTLD. Since visitors and clients are mainly looking for hotel reservations on the basis of their geographic destination,... Read more
However, if such domain names will be registered, the Applicant will do so considering the following confines:
(i) these domain names will be exclusively registered in the name of the Applicant / Registry Operator, and not in the name of a third party that is not controlled by the Applicant / Registry Operator, unless agreed upon otherwise with the authority competent for giving its consent in accordance with Specification 5 of the Registry Agreement;
(ii) where consents are required prior to the registration and use of a domain name referred to and in accordance with Specification 5 of the Registry Agreement, the Applicant will obtain such consents before actually registering, delegating and using these domain names.
In any case the registration, delegation and use of domain names corresponding to geographic names will at all times be done in the best interest of:
- the Applicant and its business as a hotel reservation agent; and
- in order to directly and indirectly promote hotel reservations, local tourism and business in the geographic locations of which the name has been registered in accordance with (i) above.×