With the launch of possibly hundreds of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) on the horizon, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will open on March 26, 2013 the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH), in which brand owners can record their trademarks. The TMCH is a centralized repository for validated trademark information that can help protect against unauthorized registrations of trademarks as second-level domains (SLDs) within the new gTLD program.
Trademark owners are concerned about their principal brands being registered by third parties as SLDs (i.e., the word “before the dot”) in new gTLDs open to the public, e.g., DellComputer.store or NewYorkTimes.news. The TMCH is designed to assist in protecting against such unauthorized uses.