Fashion, Technology & The Internet, Part II: Domains To Consider

The second lecture at the Cowan, Leibowitz & Latman Seminar was presented by Eric J. Shimanoff and got into detail on the latest opportunities with gTLDs (Generic Top Level Domains) and SLDs (Second Level Domains.)

Mr. Eric L. Shimanoff giving his presentation on gTLD and SLD updates and best practices

Mr. Eric L. Shimanoff giving his presentation on gTLD and SLD updates and best practices

In case you're not familiar, a gTLD is like .com, .net, .org, .gov, .ch etc., and these extensions haven't evolved much over the past 10 years as all of the countries & governments claimed them early on. Everyone figured out pretty quickly that despite the fearmongering sales pitches warning you to buy every iteration for your business, the gold standard would remain .com and companies had to either make up names like Google in order to have a short URL, or resort to longer URLs in order to claim a domain. ICANN was established in the late 1990's to monitor usage, prevent abuse and establish guidelines for who could use gTLDs outside of the "general purpose" LTDs (.com, .net., .org.)

An SLD refers to what comes before the dot - i.e. bambolinanyc - that one is easy!

In 2012 ICANN opened up a new system for introducing gTLDs in January 2012, and there were nearly 2,000 applications. These include high profile brands looking to own .coach, .hermes, .gap and so on, as well as industry groups interested in claiming extensions like .jewelry, .fashion, .diamonds, among many others. The approved new gTLDs are set to be announced sometime in 2013. However, don't go thinking you missed out on your own gTLD - the cost to apply is a whipping $185K, with a hefty $25K annual fee!

It remains to be seen if it will be worthwhile investing in, say, However, if you want to hedge your bets and reserve it as well as iterations like to avoid it potentially being taken hostage by a new crop of opportunists, now would be the time. The best way to do this is to register your brand with the Trademark Clearinghouse, a central repository for owners of trademark registrations. Registration costs $250 (not including legal fees if this is done through your attorney, of course) and enables you to be notified if anyone tries to register a name that you've trademarked. 

If you want to protect your brand against cybersquatters, for the present or looking towards the future, Mr. Shimanoff recommends looking into the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) or the Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS)  - both services provide recourse (at a cost) for infringement issues.


Event Recap: Fashion, Technology & The Internet; Part 1 - 3D Printing

I've been receiving invitations for the fashion seminar that Cowan, Leibowitz & Latman host annually in June for the past few years, but never managed to make it for scheduling (or the early start time!) reasons. This year, after recently signing a new client in the startup/tech space, I decided to set my alarm clock and check it out.  

The event is hosted at The Harvard Club in Midtown, which if you've never been, is exactly how you might imagine it: dark wood, somber furniture, out of another era. So it was a comfy room with a nice breakfast spread and excellent coffee, much needed!

Just when I was wondering if it was all a big mistake and waste of precious beauty sleep, the program commenced with William M. Borchard's presentation on 3D Printing, and it was actually pretty informative. He gave an overview with visuals of the basic process:

Dita Von Teese wearing the custom 3D-printed dress designed for her by Michael Schmidt and Francis Bitonti. Photo credit: Albert Sanchez via New York Times

Dita Von Teese wearing the custom 3D-printed dress designed for her by Michael Schmidt and Francis Bitonti. Photo credit: Albert Sanchez via New York Times

  • There are 2 types of 3D printers currently on the market: filament and powder/granular. Filament printers use strands of nylon and are used more for fashion/textiles while granular printers use a powder (plastic, metal) to build the result. For a great visual and article on the amazing, lace-like, form-fitting things you can do with textiles check out this recent article in the NY Times
  • The original CAD design gets turned into what's called a blueprint, and that's the valuable asset as it can be re-used by anyone who gets their hands on it
  • Currently on the market are "desktop" models that run in the thousands and industrial models that companies like Shapeways use

My takeaways on this segment:


  • Unlimited possibilities for creativity & customization
  • Cost-efficient way to create prototypes (no waste, no required inventory to test)
  • Reduced distribution costs (production can be on-demand)
  • Flexibility in regards to customer modification requests


  • Currently, sizing is an issue as a separate blueprint must be created for each size variation
  • Counterfeit manufacturing (ability to bypass customs & overseas shipping)
  • Weapons manufacture (eek!)

Intellectual Property / Legal Issues

  • Unauthorized reproduction of existing designs and objects
  • Unauthorized sharing of blueprints
  • Technology is way ahead of the law, as there is no current legislation or precedent for 3D printing in the context of design patents, copyright law or trademark

To keep up to date on the latest innovations in 3D printing, check out

Stay tuned for the next recap post of this event, all you ever wanted to know about Generic Top Level Domains (GTLD) and Second Level Domains (SLD)!