Businesses eligible to register and protect intellectual property across all new Top-Level Domains from 26th March 2013
Ahead of the entry of new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) on the Internet later this year, The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), has today announced that the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) will open for registrations starting March 26th 2013. The TMCH is a single database of validated trademarks, set-up for the purpose of protecting intellectual property rights in ICANN’s new gTLD program. As the only officially authorised solution from ICANN, the TMCH offers brands a one-stop-foundation for the safeguarding of their trademarks in domain names across the multiple new gTLDs that will go live from summer 2013.
The TMCH is the cornerstone of the rights protection mechanisms built into ICANN’s new gTLD program. Operated by Deloitte, who perform the verification services and IBM, as the database provider, the TMCH is open to any trademark holder - whether a private individual or company - and is without geographical limitation. The TMCH is set-up to be able to provide brand protection through two mechanisms: A Sunrise Service and a Trademark Claims Service.
- The Sunrise Service supports a limited pre-registration period during which trademark owners can register the domain name that matches their trademark. A Sunrise Period is mandatory for all new gTLDs and having a validated trademark entry in the Trademark Clearinghouse is the minimum requirement to participate in a new gTLD Sunrise Period.
- The Trademark Claims service supports a second limited period following the Sunrise Period. It is a notification service – mandated by ICANN for all new gTLDs - to warn both domain name registrants as well as trademark holders of possible infringements. A prospective domain name registrant gets a warning notice when attempting to register a domain name that matches a trademark term in the TMCH. If, after receiving and accepting the notice, the domain name registrant does continue to register the domain name, the trademark holder with a corresponding mark will receive notification of the domain name registration, allowing them to take any appropriate action they feel necessary.
Wide range of eligible trademarks
Trademark owners can protect virtually any of their rights by submitting them to the TMCH. The scope of rights eligible for entry in the TMCH includes nationally or regionally recorded trademarks from all jurisdictions (EU, US, AIPO, ARIPO), any mark validated through a court of law or other judicial proceeding and marks protected by a statute or a treaty in effect before or on 3rd June 2008.
Jan Corstens, Worldwide Project Partner, Deloitte: “The launch of hundreds, potentially over a 1,000, new Top Level Domains, means that businesses need to be aware of the risks posed by their creation and the possibility of trademark infringements within the new TLDs. In fact, the size of the new TLD operation and rollout means that a firm protection strategy must be decided well in advance, to ensure that businesses and their brands are appropriately safeguarded. The news that the Trademark Clearinghouse is set to launch on March 26th should give trademark owners time to prepare their trademark entries, while also providing them with peace of mind that the foundation for protection of their IP across all of the new domains is in place.”
Prices range from US$95 to US$150 per year per trademark record per year, depending on the number of trademarks submitted and their registration period in the Trademark Clearinghouse. Trademark owners who are interested with registering with the TMCH can contact their usual domain name registration provider, any agent offering related services, or even go directly to the Trademark Clearinghouse at www.trademark-clearinghouse.com
About the Trademark Clearinghouse
The Trademark Clearinghouse is the centralized repository of validated trademarks for the purpose of protecting brands in ICANN’s new gTLD program. The Trademark Clearinghouse consists of two primary functions: the authentication of contact information and verification of Trademark Records and the storage of such Trademark Records in a database in order to provide information to the new gTLD registries to support the providing of Notifications of Registered Name (NORN). The Trademark Clearinghouse is operated by Deloitte and IBM, in accordance with ICANN policy.
ICANN’s mission is to ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet you have to type an address into your computer - a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without that coordination we wouldn't have one global Internet. ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with participants from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet’s unique identifiers. ICANN doesn’t control content on the Internet. It cannot stop spam and it doesn’t deal with access to the Internet. But through its coordination role of the Internet’s naming system, it does have an important impact on the expansion and evolution of the Internet. For more information please visit: www.icann.org.