Today, the Trademark Clearing House (TMCH) has opened for registration ahead of the launch of new Top Level Domains (TLDs), to ensure that brand owners will be notified if a TLD request infringes on a registered trademark.
Registering trademarks will ensure that brands can protect their online presence by being updated on any potential domain name infringements that will damage the brand as well as taking advantage of the Sunrise period for the registration of any domain names that match their trademarks.
NetNames, the online brand protection and domain name management company, is one platform certified to start accepting applications for trademarks.
Ben Anderson, head of new gTLDs at NetNames, commented: “The internet is about to be reset. From the 23rd of April, up to 20 new gTLDs will be delegated per week meaning that there could be up to 800 million new domains available in the market.
“Those brands that think ahead and take precautionary steps to protect their trademarks and intellectual property, will be the ones to truly benefit from the introduction of gTLDs and the opportunities that they offer to improve the company’s online presence.”
Anderson suggested that brands should ask themselves the following questions:
1. Do you intend to protect (register or block) any of your trademarks in the new domain name world?
If yes, then these trademarks must be registered in the TMCH when it opens tomorrow. Once validated, holders will be able to use the sunrise period to claim what is rightfully theirs.
2. What defensive strategy will you take in relation to potential brand damaging names?
Whilst there are still some decisions to be made by ICANN on who will run every single TLD registry, it is fair to say that brand holders will not want certain names to fall into the hands of cybercriminals or cybersquatters.
3. How can you protect important brand names that do not have a trademark?
Not all brands are able to trademark variations of their name so there are some limitations to the TMCH. The NetNames TMCH service will extend the monitoring of brand violations to partial matches of the trademark for as long as the service is live.
4. When will I be able to make applications for the new gTLDs I want?
This is dependent on a number of factors and the decision process can be lengthy, costly and full of dispute. Also, each new domain name has 12 months to begin its operation from the moment delegation into the root of the internet has happened.
5. Why should I bother at all?
This is the reset of the internet, and an opportunity for those companies who weren’t lucky enough to be around when the original land grab happened in the .com world back in the mid-eighties.”