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【China Trademark】: .SHANGBIAO”——China’s “Internet Plus” Era Trademark Representation

Source: RegistryDate: 2016-04-06


Today when the human society has fully entered the digital Internet era, the Internet brands decide success or failure. To let your brands have direct and specific Internet representation capacity, improve the value of your products and services, increase the concern of netizens and consumers, reduce the possibility of being counterfeited, forged or misused, add the customers’ trust and maintain the online brand image, as the trademark right holder, you need to pay attention to this innovative world Internet brand trademark rights identification——“.SHANGBIAO” (dot trademark in Chinese) international generic top-level domain.


“.SHANGBIAO” is the globally generic top level domain delegated and set up by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), and is also the only globally generic top level domain on the global Internet using the “trademark” postfix. To distinguish from the conventional trademarks in use and avoid unnecessary confusion, the dot plus two Chinese characters (trademark) as well as double quotes are selected and used as the unified identification of top level domain, i.e. “.SHANGBIAO”.


“.SHANGBIAO” comprises the trademark name registered or applied for by the global trademark right holders or applicants or the content of trademark rights and interests plus “.SHANGBIAO” top level domain postfix.


In use, the netizen may directly go to the website of a brand trademark by entering some trademark plus “.SHANGBIAO” on the address bar of IE browser. For example, by entering “顺丰.商标” or “www.顺丰.商标” or “http://顺丰.商标”, you may enter the official website of S.F. Express.


“.SHANGBIAO” was approved in January 2015 by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People’s Republic of China, bears the lawful operation qualification in China and officially joins the Chinese Internet domain name management system. The “.SHANGBIAO” registrant is qualified for website filing necessary for completing Internet access in China.


Opportunities and Challenges of trademark right holders in the “Internet Plus” Era


Nowadays, the quantity of World Wide Web users has exceeded 3 billion, and the quantity of Chinese netizens is above 700 million. Mankind has entered the digital Internet information era, where Internet and mobile Internet have completely penetrated all aspects of the society. Along with the gradual development of network economy combining the brick-and-mortar business and virtual network, the network media platforms have become one of important media channels for the promotion of enterprise brands on the basis of their unparalleled advantages. As the media promotion center moves, the brand representation has more and more transferred online from offline, and the brand exposure on the Internet and mobile Internet is increasing step by step. The brand trademark holders hope that their brand trademarks have remarkable performance and application on the Internet, but the conventional trademarks expressed using the vision, flavor and sound as the carriers encounter many challenges in the Internet application of digital technology.


Internet brings huge space and unprecedented opportunities for the promotion of trademark brands, but it also opens a convenient door for the infringement of trademark brand rights and incurs numerous challenges for the protection of trademark brand rights. Due to its invisibility, openness and quickness, Internet has increasingly become the channel of offenders and criminals to practice fraud. According to relevant media coverage, in recent years, massive “counterfeit” websites personated the official websites of known brands to sell the counterfeit, false and inferior products for huge profits. The “counterfeit” websites mostly promote themselves by relying on the search or online advertisement, and the websites of health products, medical devices and digital home appliances are usually seen. According to the statistics of the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition, 2013 witnessed an economic loss of over USD250 billion~300 billion due to worldwide diversified trademark counterfeit, including online infringement counterfeit.


While embracing the Internet progress, the trademark right holders are deeply beset by online infringement. Since the techniques used to infringe the trademark brand rights have been mutating, the online infringement techniques and forms tend to be manifold. On condition of gradual spread of some low-price domain names, even free domain names, some new technologies as cloud computing and template quick website building have been wilfully and illegally used for online infringement; furthermore, the social websites represented by Microblog and WeChat have become an effective and low cost promotion mode in the Internet transmission. In such case, it is harder for the original trademark right holders to supervise whether their trademark brand rights are counterfeited and misused.


In the meantime, throughout the world, especially in the territory where Chinese is used as the main language, counterfeit name brands, or false and inferior commodities of brand trademarks, false information, phishing websites, pirate and other online infringements flood the Internet. Recent years have witnessed louder and louder voice of worldwide online crackdown on counterfeiting offenses, and governments have released more and more measures to crack on counterfeiting offenses with increasing strength; but, an undeniable fact is: false name brands, false and inferior products, phishing websites, false information and other online infringements are still difficult to prohibit and have been flooding. This causes that consumers and netizens are lack of the sense of security in network use, affecting the healthy Internet development, industrial upgrade and improvement of service quality. In addition, the separation of conventional brands on the Internet is to be solved urgently. Internet was born in the US, and the domain name system also originated from the US. For a long period of time, a domain name can only comprise English and digits. For a Chinese enterprise, no matter whether its trademark or trade name is in English, it must name a domain name comprising English characters or digits, like the use of an English brand, Pinyin, Pinyin abbreviation, digits or the combination of all with which users are unfamiliar. The scarcity of domain names makes the short and easy-to-remember Pinyin and digit domain names more expensive, so the domain names used by most of enterprises and users are hard to remember by the netizens and consumers at once. This brings great inconvenience for netizens to directly access the websites using the domain names via the address bar. In the meantime, driven by interests, in daily hundreds of millions of search engine requests worldwide, a majority of brand websites are often occupied by other brands, even the paid advertisement spaces of counterfeit websites, which leads to serious separation of brands from the Internet addresses used in practice, and this also becomes the hot bed of online infringements.


The vast netizens require a trademark identification on the Internet consistent with the conventional trademarks and easy to use online to facilitate online search, identification and distinguishing of various sources of commodities and services by netizens and consumers, reduce confusion and annoyance in the recognition and use of trademarks due to inconsistent online and offline trademark names, thus decreasing the loss resulting from purchasing the counterfeit commodities and service or wrongly entering the phishing websites. In the meantime, the trademark right holders also hope that their trademark rights can be extended, expanded and protected on the Internet, and their trademarks can be represented, managed, used and promoted online and offline consistently so as to prevent their trademarks from being counterfeited, fraudulently copied or infringed on the Internet and safeguard their Internet business interests. To maintain the interests of consumers, netizens, businessmen and enterprises, foster a healthy Internet eco-environment with sustainable development, the launch of “.SHANGBIAO” bearing the innovative intellectual property identity that integrates the trademark rights and domain name rights apparently meets the urgent need of vast brands and netizens in the Internet Plus era.


Exclusive and Scarce Internet Address Resources of Trademark Right Holders


“.SHANGBIAO” comprises the trademark name registered or applied for by the global trademark right holders or applicants plus “.SHANGBIAO” Chinese top level domain postfix, or the trademark name plus trademark registration country as well as the combination of trademark name plus the registered industry type and the “trademark” Chinese top level domain postfix.


“.SHANGBIAO” follows the principle of first registration and first acquisition, not subject to the limitation of conventional trademark regions, countries and 45 industries, and also not beset by the trademarks of the same name. Due to the differences in country and service classification, many conventional trademarks have the same name. On condition that the registrants have the trademark rights, the “.SHANGBIAO” follows the principle of first registration and first acquisition. Once registration is successfully done, the registrant will become the worldwide exclusive holder of such “.SHANGBIAO”, and may obtain the exclusive Internet address resource corresponding to the trademark name, and occupy the key point of Internet brand promotion, and will be entitled to the online exclusive rights to use such “.SHANGBIAO” worldwide and legal protection.


Global Brand Dream, Won on the Internet


In the present digital Internet era, the network brands are key points of all brand images. “.SHANGBIAO” is an innovative online identity of intellectual property of “Internet domain name plus trademark with intellectual property”, and is also the latest trademark manifestation. The double identification and marking capacity of trademarks and domain names let the online “.SHANGBIAO” bear the basic function like the conventional trademarks which can differentiate the information sources of commodities and services or related specific individuals, enterprises or organizations to facilitate the identification of other persons and consumers. In the meantime, the domain name function of “.SHANGBIAO” may let the trademarks become the generic addressing IDs on the Internet, which may be used as the online trademark marks in product packages, decoration design, specification, name card, exhibition and conventional media; they may also be widely used in online brand promotion, key word description of search engines, website connection and optimization, e-mailbox, online transaction, 2D code, mobile Internet and IOT applications as well as e-commerce activities, WeChat, Microblog and online applications.

“.SHANGBIAO” assigns the trademarks larger use space and representation and let them revitalize with quicker brand propagation speed and wider influence. “.SHANGBIAO” represents online images, quality and business reputation of brand commodities and services, and has vital role and position in the Internet commercial community. “.SHANGBIAO” may have the Internet influence of brands gradually intensified through repeated use of consumers and long application and promotion of “.SHANGBIAO” holders, building up higher popularity and reputation for the brands.

In addition, to help the brand owners, the “.SHANGBIAO” identification is used to build the online security entrance so that consumers and netizens can identify the brand websites through the “.SHANGBIAO” ID. The “.SHANGBIAO” Domain Registry also provides the official website certification service of “.SHANGBIAO” brands to let netizens clarify the true Internet trademark brand information and the official websites of the right holders, building up a true and credible Internet brand image for the trademark right holders.

Since January 8, 2015, when open registration for trademark right holders started, many known brands have taken the lead in registration of or start to use the “.SHANGBIAO” domain names. So far, the registered “.SHANGBIAO” domain names are not lack of such world brands as BMW, Starbucks. Alibaba, Microsoft, MSN, Rolex, Zippo, Lego, Montagut, Landor, Nokia, Acer, Watsons, Baidu, Yahoo, Jingdong, S.F., Vipshop, China Telecom, Chow Tai Fook and Cheung Kong. Such new intellectual property protective measures for industrial known brands will undoubtedly initiate a trend of industrial registration of “.SHANGBIAO” domain names.

Conclusion: “.SHANGBIAO” Conforms to the Government Advocated “Internet Plus” Development Trend

At present, China’s manufacturing industry is lack of independent innovation capacity. In the course of industrial upgrade from “Made in China” to “Created in China” advocated by the government, to conduct independent R&D and innovation, enterprises will inevitably be involved in the brand creation and operation. Although the quantity of China’s trademark registration applications has been topping the world for consecutive years, the quality level of independent brands is not high, and China is far from a brand giant. “.SHANGBIAO” lets the “Internet Plus IP” have more specific representation content, and represents the integration of Internet era and trademark brand rights.

Today, some Chinese Internet technical applications and innovations have set the pace in the world. “.SHANGBIAO” is online brand reputation mark and indispensable online trademark identification representing individuals, enterprises or organizations in the Internet information era. Its emergence will play a positive role for the healthy and sustainable Internet development, and have far-reaching influence and significance to push the progress of intellectual property in the Internet era.