Get the most important digital marketing news each day.
ICANN Aims To Help Brands With Domain Trademark Clearinghouse
ICANN, the agency that oversees the domain name system, is planning to launch what it calls a Trademark Clearinghouse next month to help companies and individuals protect their rights as new top-level domains roll out later this year.
Rights owners will be able to submit their trademark information into a central database for verification and, once verified, they’ll have two primary benefits:
- “Sunrise Registration” will give verified rights owners the chance to register their marks as domain names before the general public.
- “Notification of Registration” is an alert service that will work during “sunrise” and “claims” periods, telling rights holders when someone registers a domain that matches their trademarks. It also warns the registrant that s/he is trying to register a trademarked name.
The latter is just an alert service and doesn’t attempt to block the registration of domains that match a trademark; if the registrant follows through with the registration, the two parties would have to go through normal dispute procedures.
There are different fee structures involved — the most basic of which costs $150 per year.
According to the Associated Press, ICANN is planning to start making some new top-level domains available in mid-2013, and likely in Chinese and other non-English languages at first.