The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has recently launched the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH). ICANN has billed the TMCH as the “most important rights protection mechanism built into ICANN’s new gTLD program.”
Approximately 2000 new generic top level domains, similar to .com, .net, .biz, etc., but with generic names (gTLDs), will be released later this year under the new gTLD program. This new system will allow the registration of millions of new domain names. The new system may also be problematic for trademark owners as it will allow the registration of domain names containing a party’s trademarks without the trademark owners’ permission. While dispute policies such as the Uniform Rapid Suspension and a Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy have been implemented and are available, the Trademark Clearinghouse is designed to make things easier for trademark owners.
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