ICANN's Trademark Clearinghouse - What You Need to Know


Even in the current Internet landscape of only 23 generic top-level domains (gTLDs)—including .com, .net, .org and a handful of others—many organizations find that protecting against domain name infringement is quite a challenge. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is currently considering applications to add up to 1,400 new gTLDs to the Internet landscape, with some gTLDs opening for domain name registrations beginning as early as mid-October 2013. In order to be prepared for this rapid expansion of the domain name space, companies should be giving serious thought to how they will continue to protect their brands in this new and evolving environment.

Against this backdrop, ICANN has devised a Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH), one of the key new gTLD enforcement tools for brand owners, which will serve as a repository for information regarding trademark rights. The TMCH will accept, authenticate and verify any registered trademarks, marks protected by statute or treaty, or court-validated marks as well as any other marks that constitute intellectual property rights that can be represented within the technical limitations of the Domain Name System. In exchange, brand owners will receive two significant benefits...

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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