Companies keen on exclusive domain names to cement online presence

Jayanta Mallick Kolkata | Updated on January 20, 2018


Indian companies, to assert their rights on cyberspace, are gradually warming up to the idea of having exclusive proprietary domain names registered.

Some 13 names have been “delegated” or assigned to Indian companies, including SBI, HDFC Bank, Tata Motors, Airtel and Dabur, by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit global body for managing web domain name system.

Samiran Gupta, India Head of ICANN, told BusinessLine, “ICANN has delegated some 13 domain names to Indian companies such as State Bank, HDFC Bank, Tata Motors, Airtel, TVS and Dabur in the last couple of years.”

Some of the Indian entities such as SBI and Airtel have got more than one delegations – “.sbi” and “.statebank” or “.Bharti” and “.airtel”, he added.

Reliance has applied for three domain names – “.reliance”, “.ril” and “.jio”. Earlier, it had pitched for “.indians” but later withdrew its application as the Centre expressed strong reservations, intellectual property rights experts said. Another recent significant withdrawal was from Infosys, which had applied for “.infosys” domain name. The exclusive proprietary domain is part of ICANN’s ongoing expansion. ICANN will make available over 1,300 new names or ‘strings’ for registration over the next few years. Globally, it has allocated 870 names in the recent years.

ICANN is the internationally accepted authority responsible for IP address space allocation, protocol identifier assignment, generic and country code top-level domain name system, and root server system management. According to Ranjan Narula, Managing Partner of Ranjan Narula Associates, a specialist IP firm, domain name selection is perhaps the first step by a company towards establishing a presence in cyberspace.

“Domain names are commonly understood as a humanly memorable name through which computers and networks identify ownership or control of a resource. Domain name selection and registrations are becoming increasingly integral to a company’s branding strategy. With more and more consumers using online search engines to locate companies, products and businesses, the selection of a brand name is closely linked to the availability of a domain name and vice versa,” Narula said in a recent note.

In 2005, India opened up the “.in” country code top-level domain, allowing unlimited second-level registrations under “.in” and unlimited registrations under previously structured zones such as “” and “”.

Published on May 13, 2016

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