Describe the Mission and Purpose of your gTLD
The content of this Answer to Question 18 set forth below which describes the plans for Richemont DNS’s registry constitutes the “purpose” of the registry as that term is used in paragraph 1.b. of Specification 9 of the Draft New gTLD Registry Agreement found in Module 5 of the Richemont DNS Guidebook dated January 11, 2012 (“the Purpose”). Richemont DNS will publish its Charter and its policies, guidelines, and other supporting documentation related to the implementation of the registry consistent with the Purpose, all prior to launch. All second level domain names registered by Richemont DNS on behalf of itself or an affiliate will be registered through an ICANN-accredited registrar and will be consistent with the Purpose. All registrants of second level domain names will be affiliates of Richemont DNS or will be parties operating under a written trademark license specifically allowing the registration of a second level domain name within this registry (the “Required License”).
Since 1868, IWC Schaffhausen, Branch of Richemont International SA (“IWC”) has been crafting exquisite timepieces, in which innovative ideas are combined with pure, distinctive designs. With the focus on technology, its products appeal to watch enthusiasts with an interest in engineering and an affinity with discreet luxury. IWC is the only major Swiss watchmaker located in Northern Switzerland is an active member of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH.
Its ultimate parent company is Compagnie Financière Richemont S.A. (“CFR”), a Swiss luxury goods holding company, which was created in 1988. This application is being made by Richemont DNS Inc. (“Richemont DNS”), one of CFR’s indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries. The group of companies whose ultimate parent company is CFR are referred to herein collectively as “Richemont”.
Richemont’s luxury businesses operate globally. The largest market is Asia-Pacific, which generates more than 40 per cent of sales. We believe the diversity of our geographical operations, with a lack of dependency on any one market, represents a long-term competitive advantage. IWC, through its various divisions, operates through more than 950 points of sale for watches and accessories in 94 countries worldwide.
Richemont directly employs more than 20,000 people worldwide and has employees based in all major regions of the world. Two-thirds of Richemont’s employees are based in Europe, but Asia-Pacific and the Americas are also significant and growing areas of employment. The majority of Richemont’s employees in Europe are based in Switzerland, France, and Germany, where the manufacture of luxury goods is concentrated. Asia and the Far East are growing markets. In all regions, employees are engaged in retail, distribution, after sales service and⁄or administrative functions.
Richemont ‘A’ shares are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange, Richemont’s primary listing, and are included in the Swiss Market Index (‘SMI’) of leading stocks. Richemont’s South African Depository Receipts are listed in Johannesburg, Richemont’s secondary listing. Richemont is the eighth largest company in the Swiss Market Index and, as of 2007, Richemont was the third-largest luxury goods company in the world by annual revenues. In the 2010⁄2011 financial year, Richemont sales were €6.892 billion, a rise of 33% on the previous year (at actual exchange rates) and our operating profit rose by 63% to €1.355 billion.
Under the Richemont brands, investments in research, development and innovation extend to watch movements, new product designs and marketing-related activities. The annual accounting charge for research and development costs is some €20 million. IWC is a registered trademark in jurisdictions throughout the world. Richemont DNS intends to operate the .IWC registry under a suitable license from IWC and on IWC’s behalf.
The .IWC registry will be a standard, i.e. not a community-based, restricted registry. Its main purpose will be:
• To protect IWC’s consumer base from confusion through the safeguarding of intellectual property and ensure that the integrity of its brand is enhanced at the highest possible level in the domain name system. As mentioned above, IWC has a portfolio of registered intellectual property rights around the world and securing the term, .IWC, will enable IWC to harmonise its current brand protection policies and to mitigate counterfeiting, a scourge of the luxury goods industry, for government and consumers alike;
• To provide a platform for the delivery of secure, consolidated digital material for both industry professionals and consumers;
• To ensure IWC remains at the forefront of innovation by keeping pace with internet technology developments; and
• To provide a single, trusted source of information for the press and governments regarding IWC branded goods.
The success of the .IWC registry will be determined by the enhancement in the equity of the IWC brand and in terms of the security and stability it brings to our communications, not by the number of second level domain names that are registered.