Despite the increase of submissions from brand owners to the Trademark Clearinghouse as new gTLDs Launch, the number of total registered domains continue pattern of growth. In the August issue of Verisign's Domain Name Industry Brief, the .com and .net registry revealed that domain registrations continue to show strong growth across the variety of top-level domains (TLDs) increasing by 1.7 percent over the fourth quarter of 2013 with five million domain registrations. Year over year, 19.3 million new registrations contributed to growth of 7.5 percent.
Country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs) performed even better showing growth of 2.9 percent quarter over quarter and 13.1 percent growth over the prior year, reaching a total of 127.1 million registered domains.
Increasing by 4 percent over the prior year, .com and .net domains grew to a combined total of around 128.5 million domain names. Quarter over quarter, however, registrations fell in those TLDs from 8.8 million in the first quarter of 2013 to 8.6 million in the first quarter of 2014.
By the end of the first quarter of 2014 there were 198 new generic TLDs (gTLDs) available for registration; 125 of which were launched in that same quarter. With that in mind, one could surmise that the drop in .com and .net domains could be in part due to the release of new gTLD inventory on the market and a growing regional reliance on ccTLDs.
While .com remains the most popular TLD with 113.2 million registered domains, in terms of the largest zone size for different TLDs, the largest in order were .com, .tk (ccTLD for Tokelau), .de (Germany), .net, .uk (United Kingdom), .org, .cn (China), .ru (Russian Federation), .info and .nl (Netherlands). Russia’s .ru was the biggest mover, rising up from the ninth spot to eighth on the list.
On the brand protection side of the equation, as of the 28th of July, the Trademark Clearinghouse has seen 31,866 trademarks submitted for protection from brands in 98 countries and 118 jurisdictions. As a result, 89,773 notifications have been sent to trademark holders.