The word "brand" derived from ancient Norwegian word "brandr", which is translated as “mark” in Chinese. During that time, the western nomadic shepherds made different marks on their horse back, in order to identify their property. It was the original naming method for goods and, at the same time, also the origin of modern concept of brand.
Trademark is a composing element of a brand, which is the mark and name of such brand. The legal protection on brands is realized by trademark rights. Brand is the basis on which consumers select goods. Compared to products without a brand, more consumers would give their reliance on those with a brand. A trademark mainly serves its brand and represents the image of its brand. Therefore, a trademark is a distinctive mark used for identifying goods and/or services or any specific person, enterprise, or organization associated with such goods and/or services in business activities, which is an indispensable element and symbol in a commercial society. The use of ".商标" may enhance consumers and users' impression and memory of brand trademarks, strengthen the recognition degree, and improve the reputation and goodwill of brand trademarks. ".商标" functions actively in directing consumers' preference to branded goods, while urging producers and distributors to guarantee quality of their goods and services and to protect reputation of their trademarks.
With the development and progress of human society, the representation of trademarks has been adapting to the development of society. Trademark is represented and expressed in different forms. Originally, trademarks are visually represented through words, graphics, letters, numbers, and three-dimensional images on printed media. Along with the development of human society, people not only visually represent trademarks by printed media, but also added sound trademark and scent trademark, which are respectively represented by sound and scent.
Nowadays, the Internet information age emerges and the representation of brand has been gradually shifting from offline mode to online mode. Thanks to the unrivaled superiority, the Internet media has become one of the most important media channels in promoting brands. With the shifting of focus of promotion media and the increasing exposure of brands on the Internet, mobile Internet, and Internet of Things, the performance of trademark, as sign of a brand, becomes pale when facing the digital technology-based Internet. Therefore, the expression and representation of trademarks should keep in pace with development of the Internet, making corresponding changes in tandem with the Internet. Only by that can trademarks continue to serve brands in the information age of the Internet.
“.商标” is an innovative online trademark that combines “Internet domain name + trademark”. By taking domain name as the carrier, “.商标” finds a new form of representation of trademarks in the information age of the Internet. The dual identifying functions of trademark and domain name enable the online “.商标” to share the same fundamental functions of any offline trademarks that distinguish goods, services, or the sources of specific individuals, enterprises or organizations related to such goods or services from others, making them easily identifiable by consumers. Meanwhile, the function of a ".商标" as a domain name enables a trademark to become a generic address locator on the World Wide Web, which may be used for product packaging, decorative design, manuals, business cards, exhibitions and conventional media. Furthermore, it may be widely applied in online brand promotion, search engines, website links and optimization, e-mails, e-commerce, e-government administration, QR codes, mobile network and the Internet of Things, and other online applications.
A ".商标" gives trademarks more space for use and representation, making trademarks vigorous, enabling even faster dissemination and wider scope of brand influence, representing the image, quality, and goodwill of brand goods and services on the Internet, which takes a predominant role and position in the commercial society of the Internet age. Through repeated use by consumers and long-term application and promotion by its holder, ".商标" has gradually consolidated influence of brand on the Internet to gain more popularity and reputation and to lay down a solid foundation for goods and services to tap onto the global market. ".商标" becomes the most frequent network mark and sign representing brands on the Internet, which is a new element of a brand.