Domain Name Registration

Have you registered your domain name yet?  New options for domain names now available. 

Up until recently there have only been 23 Top Level Domain suffixes available for use, with ".com" being the most prevalent and well known of these.  ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) has exponentially increased this number with the launch of its new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) program.  Trade mark owners have rightly expressed concerns that the introduction of so many new gTLD extensions would give rise to more cybersquatting and internet fraud.  Fadi Chehade, CEO of ICANN has been quoted as saying: “Protection of trade marks and IP is at the top of my mind.”

Taking those concerns on board, ICANN, working with IBM, have set up a "Trade Mark Clearinghouse".  As of 26 March 2013, owners of trade marks can register their trade marks with the Trade Mark Clearinghouse. This provides two major benefits to trade mark owners:

1.  They will have a "sunrise period" to register their trade marks as domain names ahead of the general public; and

2.  During the sunrise period and claims period they will receive notification of other persons seeking to register a domain name which is ‘identical’ to the trade mark.

After expiration of the sunrise period and claims period for each new gTLD, the trade mark owner will not be notified of other persons seeking to register a domain name which is ‘identical’ to their trade mark.  However they will continue to be notified whenever ICANN releases a new gTLD (so long as they keep their annual registration with the Trade Mark Clearinghouse in force). 

If registering your trade mark with the Trade Mark Clearinghouse is something you would be interested in, please contact us and we can assist you and answer any queries you may have.