Quebec's new generic top level domain (gTLD) —.quebec
— is scheduled for general availability November 18, 2014.
The .quebec domain will be of interest to any brand owners
conducting business in La belle province.
The launch of the .quebec domain is part of the ongoing
expansion of the Internet from only 22 gTLDs in 2013 (e.g. .com,
.net) to over one thousand by the end of 2015. New gTLD registries
may be classified as open, restricted or closed. Open domains are
available to anyone, while restricted domains have eligibility
criteria (e.g. .law will be available to licensed lawyers), and
closed domains are intended for use only by the owner of the
registry. The .quebec domain will be an open registry.
In addition to the above, new gTLDs can generally be grouped
into four types based on their purpose:
Geographic domains (or GeoTLDs) are specific
to a geographical area — whether a country, city, or
continent. Examples include .quebec, .berlin and .nyc.
Community domains are for use by a defined
community group, such as religious, charity, profession or
interest. Examples include .LGBT, .Islam, .tennis.
Brand domains relate directly to a trademarked
brand, and may be used to help strengthen the brand by providing
brand-specific domain extensions to the company. Examples include
.Samsung and .BestBuy.
Generic domains fall outside of the other
three categories. Examples include .bike, .app, .eco.
Over 400 gTLDs have launched to date but .quebec will be among
the first of 66 geographic gTLDs to launch.
The .quebec GeoTLD is being promoted by the Government of Quebec
as providing several benefits to users, including geolocation for
Quebec based businesses, bringing non-resident businesses closer to
their clients in Quebec, assisting in brand development and market
share growth in the province and improving the effectiveness of
Early registration in .quebec is available until November 11,
2014 with priority given to i) trademark rights holders, followed
by ii) government entities that promote Quebec's public
interest, then iii) entities headquartered in Quebec and finally
iv) the general public. General registration in the .quebec
registry on "first come, first served" basis begins on
November 18, 2014.
The impending launch of .quebec presents unique opportunities to
rights holders looking to strengthen their brand in Quebec.
Quebec's citizens may embrace the .quebec registry as part of
their geographical, cultural and linguistic identity. Given that
the .quebec domain is one of the first GeoTLDs to launch, it has
the potential to provide insight into the future launch of other
GeoTLDs such as .london, .madrid and .nyc.
Businesses with interests in Quebec are advised to consider
registration of their key brands and domain names in the .quebec
registry and to monitor the registry for potential bad faith domain
name registrations or infringement of trademarks and
The preceding is intended as a timely update on Canadian
intellectual property and technology law. The content is
informational only and does not constitute legal or professional
advice. To obtain such advice, please communicate with our offices
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A recent Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench decision allowed a court-appointed receiver to sell and transfer intellectual property rights free and clear of encumbrances, finding that a license to use improvements of an invention was a contractual interest and not a property interest.
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