Donuts is fighting the fake trademarks by making them all premium!

What Box Holdings“, “Plan Bee LLC” andThomas A. Brackey IIhave been using fake trademarks to buy New gTLD domain names in sunrise. I was wondering why Donuts was not doing anything to fight the fake trademarks but it seems that they do. They have made all fake trademark terms premium so these people have to think twice before buying them all.

Richard Tindal from Donuts made a comment at the a few months back that they don’t feel cheated: ” We don’t feel gamed in Sunrise. Per ICANN rules, the TMCH decides who can buy then and everyone who bought in our Sunrise met the TMCH ‘in-use’ requirement. We’re not going to become an arbiter of which trademarks are legitimate and which are not. We think it’s a very bad idea for domain registries to become trademark judges.”

And why should they care? They made all fake trademark terms premium so whoever buys them, in sunrise or in general availability, will have to keep paying Donuts those high renewal fees.

I checked all 40 trademarks that these people above have registered for pens and hats in New gTLD .works that launches this week and most of the fake trademarks are set as premium. Most are at set at the high premium of about

$500 renewals per year.

So the fake people are buying them at Sunrise at the premium price plus $100. That is more or less selling the domains in EAP day 5 where the bulk of the EAP registrations happen. Donuts might lose some money from the previous days but by making all domains at a high premium they will get their money back in the long run.

I checked their 40 trademarks and found that 36 of the terms are set as premium with a $500+ renewal rate. It is set at $799,99 at Go Daddy. Trademark holders pay this price plus the sunrise fee that is about $100 to $150 depending on the registrar.

Only the stupidest of their trademarks are not set as premium: 808, aloha, ilove plus vacation that I guess Donuts missed.

So Donuts doesn’t care who and how registers their domain names as long as they are getting paid for them. And this is why “What Box Holdings“, “Plan Bee LLC” andThomas A. Brackey IIdon’t buy every single domain name incorporating their fake marks in sunrise. They have to pay high renewals that start at $500 and are as high as $3,600. This is how this end-user managed to register despite “What Box Holdings” having a trademark for realeastate for “hats”.

So if Donuts doesn’t care who does? It is domainers and end users that are essentially being blocked from these keywords.

Join our campaign to boycott the .build registry that is run by these fake people.


About Konstantinos Zournas

I studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London, UK and I am now living in Athens, Greece. I went online in 1995, started coding in 1996 and began buying domain names and creating websites in 2000. I started the blog in 2012.


  1. Konstantinos

    I don’t have a horse in the race, but I agree I don’t like what Tom is doing on the TM front I know him and have told him so but the game was set up and he is playing it.

    I’m not sure Donuts can do anything about it.

    It really is the job of the Trademark Clearing House to accept or reject applications.

    The TMCH is being managed by IBM and Deloitte for which they are getting paid big bucks to manage.

    I do not think a registry can ignore a sunrise registration once it is in the TMCH, not sure they have the right or the option to just say no.

    So if the blame is going to be spread around you have to give the majority of it to the one who is gaming the system, and then to the one’s who are in charge of the system

    • For M.Berkens as an ambassador to the industry to say I don’t like what they are doing, but as long as you can do it, so be it, just shows you how much of a farce the new GTLD”s are.

      How do you not have a horse in the race, you are a GTLD consultant, and a GTLD registrant? You even pre-registered .Horse, so you definately got a few horses in this race.

      Why are these registrations only $500, should be $1000 make them sweat, and pay it out. I guess this is what Erik Ludwick, and his Domain Name Association try to encourage, gaming the system as long as it works in your favor.

      Given only a set amount of terms work in each extension, by giving away it’s premium ones, Donuts, and it’s management team are simply bending over.

      Further proof GTLD’s are flawed.

      • Robbie if you make them $1000 then nobody will register them.
        At least now a few domains fall through the cracks and a few domainers or end users buy them.
        This Tom guy has ruined the game enough.

        There is only one way out of this mess and that is if Donuts, that has the most New gTLDs, does something to stop this.
        I have some ideas…

    • The game was setup and he rigged it. Why aren’t you doing the same?

      Donuts can complain to the Trademark Clearing House, ICANN, IBM and Deloitte and of course the Swiss trademark office.

      I am mostly blaming these fake people and of course all the others that just put up with this and play along and that is Donuts.

      This Tom guy has ruined these 40 top keywords for everyone. Even if one was supposed to be a $99 premium, thanks to this Tom guy
      it is $500+ now. Because Donuts will get their money one way of the other.

      And you are one of the few bloggers that have made a comment on this matter. It’s you, Theo and of course Robbie. Andrew and DomainIncite have mentioned the matter…
      All the others are just afraid to take a stand just because they might lose a couple of sponsors.
      I only have 1 sponsor so I just don’t give a damn.

      • As I said before, it’s a loop-hole left behind by the inability of the system to predict deviations from an ‘honest’ process. That’s why system analysts are hired, to break a process before it’s implemented for the general public. Whether this loop-hole has legal ramifications or not, that’s a whole separate issue. I would point the finger at the very authority that oversees the policies it implemented: ICANN. While Mr. Chehade delivers enthusiastic speeches to the masses, the kingdom of Denmark is definitely rotting away.

    • And I forgot to say that I will keep beating this horse until it’s dead.

  2. Keep up the good fight K.

  3. Thank god this blog covers investigative issues like this. The other blogs in the industry which are either written by people who consider themselves industry leaders or to be at the forefront of the business prove to be extremely weak or hugely compromised when it comes to critical analysis of certain individuals and organisations. Grubby business.

  4. heres another scandal about 101domain my friend!!!! trying to take domains off people more than a month after they were registered unless they pay loads of cash have you seen it??

    this story is definitely worth a read everybody!!

  5. Are registries allowed to change their premium name list once is set? Isn’t there only one shot allowed by ICANN to categorize names into premium and non-premium? Also… If some domain names are initially blocked/reserved and in future released, may they be classified as premium or it would be too late for registry?

    • I have no idea. But from what I have seen so far I think they can do whatever they want. If they do there will be chaos.

      Blocked/reserved domains can be classified as whatever they want.

      • If they can do whatever they want, then every purchase of nTLD is in risk. You buy something today for $30 and they may change its renewal to $10k. What a non-sense program.

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