THE MISSION AND PURPOSE OF THE NEW RESTRICTED .WALTER 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 .walter gTLD will operate as a restricted registry, in which Sandvik AB... Read more
THE MISSION AND PURPOSE OF THE NEW RESTRICTED .WALTER 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 .walter gTLD will operate as a restricted registry, in which Sandvik AB (Sandvik) can create and control domain spaces that promote the identity and authenticity of the Walter brand. In this regard, the .walter gTLD will be used by Sandvik, Walter, its affiliates and partners to provide information and resources regarding Walter's tooling products and services to consumers in a way that promotes trust, confidence and simplicity. Second and third level domains can then be utilised for websites for Walter's precision tool products and services, as well as for marketing purposes, with internet users assured of brand authenticity.
Walter AG (Walter) is a leading German-based tool manufacturer specialising in the development, production and sale of precision tools for machining metal. Walter has production facilities in Germany, France, US, Brazil and China, with a catalogue of 49,000 tools and 3,600 employees worldwide. Walter has 16,000 customers in over 40 countries around the world. Walter has been part of the Sandvik group of companies since 2002. Sandvik is a leading global, high-technology engineering group with advanced products and world-leading positions in areas including tooling, materials technology, mining and construction. The company was founded in 1862 and changed its name to Sandvik in 1972. Sandvik now operates in more than 130 countries and has over 50,000 employees worldwide. Sandvik is listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange and had annual sales of more than SEK 94 billion in 2011. Sandvik invests around SEK 3 billion each year in research and development (R&D), with more than 2,700 employees working on R&D and about 5,500 active patents. In this regard, brand reputation and continuous innovation are paramount considerations in all its activities. The new .walter gTLD will provide a global platform for Sandvik to strengthen the Walter brand online by communicating and interacting with its customers, tailoring innovative online services to suit different customer bases and providing improved searchability and navigation for internet users.
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. .walter will facilitate greater trust and assurance from internet users connecting with Sandvik online, whilst still allowing convenient and efficient interaction.
Sandvik's mission and purpose of the gTLD share ICANN's initiatives to promote public interest. Sandvik is committed to contribute towards achieving such initiatives in line with ICANN's Affirmation of Commitments, which includes:
- consumer trust: .walter will be operated in a centralised manner with a restrictive registration policy. Registration of domain names will only be available to Sandvik and its affiliate entities, at this stage, which will provide added consumer trust that .walter domain names are trustworthy. As .walter domain names are subject to registration standards, policies and procedures under Sandvik's control, this eliminates the possibility of malicious conduct within .walter;
- competition: the 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 .walter 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 gTLD will enable user-driven improvements and innovations assisting Sandvik'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 Sandvik. As Sandvik has effective control over the registration and use of domain names under .walter, this will also contribute towards general service innovations on the internet.
Given the restricted nature of the .walter gTLD, the projected number of registration is likely to be limited, with about 5 to 15 domain names to be registered in the first three years. The number of registrations is likely to increase as Sandvik implements new engineering products, services and marketing campaigns.
As the new .walter gTLD expands, Sandvik may consider offering the use of second level domain names to its customers or business parties at a later date. In this endeavour, Sandvik will continue to comply with all operational, technical and policy requirements, as well as maintaining consumer trust and the stability of the internet. Sandvik will keep ICANN reasonably informed of any material developments relating to .walter including compliance with the continued operations instrument obligations as set out in Specification 8 of the Registry Agreement.
Sandvik intends to create relevant domain names for use including engineering products and services at the second or third level. In accordance with registration policy and the proposed measures for protection of geographic names as outlined in response to Question 22, Sandvik will use geographic names to localise its websites in countries in which it operates. The use of geographic names is intended to:
- connect internet users with relevant information as applicable to the territory; and
- comply with required rules and regulations in the national territory.
Walter is a well-recognised global brand with its "WALTER" trademark registered in 13 countries and territories, and its combined word and logo "WALTER" trademarks registered in around a further 40 countries and territories, for one or more of the following categories: Machinery including machines and machine tools (Class 7); Hand tools and implements (Class 8); and Electrical and scientific apparatus (Class 9).
Sandvik has existing domain names with an exact match to its "WALTER" trademark and the applied-for .walter string in the following spaces:
- gTLDs: walter.asia
- country-code TLDs (ccTLDs): walter.ag, walter.co and walter.eu
In addition, Sandvik has 37 existing domain names containing the term Walter.
Sandvik believes that the .walter gTLD is unlikely to cause confusion with either a generic term or any existing TLDs. Walter trademarks are a leading global brand with significant around the world. Sandvik has used the term Watler in conjunction with its precision tooling businesses for over 10 years. As such, the Walter brand is well known for being a world leader in precision tools and tooling solutions for machining.×