The rollout of new generic top level domains gTLDs (link to overview article)will start in the second half of 2013. Part of the rollout plan includes a sunrise period where existing trademark holders can apply to pre-register relevant extensions of their trademark to protect their intellectual property rights. If you hold an existing trademark and are concerned about the launch of new domain extensions due to the risk of cybersquatting, below is some information on the Trademark Clearinghouse to help you decide whether this is an option you wish to explore in more detail.
ICANN (the body who governs the domain name system) have teamed up with IBM and Deloitte to create the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH). This system allows trademark owners to register their trademarks to gain access the sunrise releases of new gTLDs so they can have early access to register their brand in the new domain extensions to protect their intellectual property rights. Businesses and trademark agents can register multiple trademarks through the TMCH, to provide streamlined and more advanced access to new extensions as they become available.
Fees for this program start from $150USD per year for individual businesses, to gain access to the early release periods. Domain registration fees are paid separately as each new domain extension is released. For further information, see the TMCH FAQs website.
Registration for the program is available here. All organisations with a large internet footprint, those who rely on their online brand and consultants who handle internet based intellectual property rights for their customers should investigate this program and understand how it works, so they can determine the best course of action for themselves and those they represent.
Useful links for the Trademark Clearinghouse
- Trademark Clearinghouse Primary Website
- Trademark Clearinghouse FAQs
- Trademark Clearinghouse Registration Page
- Trademark Clearinghouse Registration Guide
- Trademark Clearinghouse Fees
Corporate Domain Management
QuantmWeb Domain Program provides domain-related consultancy and assistance with the management of large domain portfolios. For further information on the Domain Program, please visit our website.