Legal Alert: Trademark Clearinghouse and the New gTLDs


The new Generic Top - Level Domain (gTLD) expansion program developed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) includes a Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH), which was set to go into effect beginning March 26, 2013. The TMCH will serve as a central registry of nationally or regionally registered trademarks, court - validated marks, and marks protected by statute or treaty. As a repository, the TMCH functions (1) to authenticate contact information and verify mark ownership rights; and (2) to store this information in a single database that may be accessed by gTLD registrars.

All new gTLD registrations require gTLD regist rars to use the TMCH data to protect the rights of mark holders. ICANN has established two rights protection mechanisms for use with the TMCH: (1) Sunrise service; and (2) Trademark Claims service.

Please see full alert below for more information.

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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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