Life is full of challenges these days – both in our private lives and on a global scale. Of course, our industry has not remained unaffected, but the development of LEMARIT still makes us extremely positive towards the end of the year. We would therefore like to use the end of our anniversary year as an opportunity to look back on the past twelve months.
An overview of the topics covered in our review of the year:
20 years of domains and “beyond”: LEMARIT celebrates anniversary
The first quarter of the year was marked by our 20th anniversary. Today’s LEMARIT GmbH was founded on February 28, 2002. While in the meantime the Internet has become the interface to our (information) world for everyone, LEMARIT has kept pace, always keeping the essential in mind: Your needs to protect your digital brands.
In a four-week promotional period from February to March, we invited people to take part in a quiz created especially for our anniversary. The quiz offered the opportunity to dive into the history of LEMARIT and the world of domains and brands. During this time, customers and interested parties had the chance to shine with their expert knowledge. Did you know, for example, that all 3-character domains under .com were already taken in 1997?
Our celebrations were overshadowed by the simultaneous, inexcusable attack of the Russian Federation on Ukraine. The situation still gives us food for thought, but it has also driven us to continue to give our best every day and to shape our own development in a positive way.
Senses heightened: Great awareness of cybercrime
While the energy crisis resulting from these events presents its own unique challenges, the changes brought about by the corona pandemic continue to echo.
Even though the oft-cited normality has taken hold in many areas of life, senses have certainly been sharpened in the long term with regard to cybercrime, brand abuse and the like. In this irreversible development, domains inevitably become crucial touchpoints in digital communication. As (successful) attacks in most cases involve loss of data, financial assets, or reputation, brand and domain owners cannot afford ignoring the relevance of IT security. Many companies are now aware of this fact and are upgrading accordingly – be it through security awareness training, increased IT security or brand protection measures. This also includes regular checks to ensure that the domain portfolio is up to date, and tailored monitoring solutions.
Verena Kuthe, Head of Sales & Business Development, spoke about these very measures at the Brand Protection Seminar of the Aktionkreis für Produkt- und Markenpiraterie e. V. in October. During a panel discussion at the Willy-Brandt-Haus in Berlin, the development in the area of domain abuse became particularly clear. For example, LEMARIT has not only recorded more takedown cases than ever before, but UDRP cases have also increased by more than 40% since 2019. Reason enough to continue to protect brand and identity assets with a strategic focus.
LEMARIT as guest in Vienna – and friends as guests at LEMARIT
Also in 2022, the partly ongoing pandemic-related regularities have influenced the event calendar. In addition to numerous digital webinars, meetings and events, LEMARIT was able to partner and sponsor Advatera’s 9th Digital Leadership Forum onsite in September for the first time since 2019. The two-day conference was characterized by digital innovation and transformation. At the “Haus der Ingenieure” in Vienna, the experts of LEMARIT were available to answer questions of the participating guests on all relevant topics around digital brand protection.
There were also numerous participating guests at this year’s LEMARIT summer party. It was with great pleasure that we were able to gather family and friends for a happy get-together on the occasion of our 20th anniversary after a three-year break.
ICANN: New format of WHOIS and second application window for dotBRANDs are taking shape
In September, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) published the design paper for the WHOIS Disclosure System. This is intended to provide access to non-public registration data related to generic top-level domains (gTLDs) – and thus potentially make a decisive contribution to the fight against cybercrime. In May 2018, IP owners and service providers had lost an important tool for combating brand abuse on the web due to the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation, and the accompanying redactions of WHOIS data.
There are also new developments in the area of new gTLDs, for LEMARIT this means in particular for so-called dotBRANDs. Unlike the relatively simple registration of a domain under a conventional TLD like .com or .de, using an own TLD requires a comprehensive application process including multi-stage verification procedures. Businesses and organizations can only apply within fixed time frames – the last one in 2012. Since the beginning of the year, the Operational Design Phase (ODP) has been established to review possible effects of new regulations or adjustments for the next application round. The outcome of the ODP is handed over to the ICANN Board as a final report before the next application window can be opened as soon as possible.
As part of the “PDP New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Working Group” established by ICANN, LEMARIT has had decisive influence on the past process and helped to shape the optimized guidelines for the new application round in your favor – most recently at the Contracted Parties Summit (CPS) in November.
Customer event: From past to present
No domain year without LEMARIT customer event: On November 17, LEMARIT presented new services and interesting news from the industry. After a journey through our past, CTO Thomas Kuechenthal took the opportunity to present a product from the present: the new Premium Redirect Service.
The new all-in-one solution offers many advantages: Our Premium Redirect Service includes the setup of the redirect, the provision and renewal of the necessary SSL certificate, a network of redirect servers with fast and fail-safe anycast technology as well as IPv6. In addition, an interface to the LEMARIT.app provides all related statistics at a glance.
A live tour through the LEMARIT.app, the ongoing development of which enables intuitive management of digital assets and especially the DNS, as well as an excursion into blockchain technology were also followed with interest. Not a surprise, after all, the complex around blockchain, NFTs and cryptocurrencies has now also reached the domain world. Martin Kuechenthal referred to the current somewhat diffuse handling of this topic, but also advised trademark owners to be careful due to the potential for abuse.
At the end of the day, Herbert Carstensen, Head of Fulfilment & Support, spoke from the inside and provided a how-to guide for domain purchases. Above all, his presentation made clear why a trustworthy partner is irreplaceable in this often complicated process. Despite the successful digital version, we hope to welcome our customers again in person at a LEMARIT customer event next year.
We’re satisfied when you are: An outlook for 2023
Speaking of the coming year: At LEMARIT, we are always striving to intensify our corporate development and adapt it to the satisfaction of our customers. This includes – in addition to the continuous further development of our LEMARIT.app – the development of innovative, new products. We have also successfully expanded our technical infrastructure this year for your benefit.
In addition to the well-known high level of service, LEMARIT will therefore continue to provide high-quality technical solutions in a world characterized by abrupt changes. The development of our services is also reflected in the growth of our team, so we look forward with excitement and passion to working together in the coming year. Regardless of global times of crisis, our customers’ brands always come first.
We will be happy to provide you with further information on the above-mentioned and all other topics. We will also be happy to answer any questions you may have at any time. We look forward to continuing to support our customers as a reliable partner in the background in the coming year.