New ICANN Trademark Clearinghouse Open for Business

In anticipation of the rapid expansion of the number of top-level domain names from the current handful (.com, .net., .mobi, .jobs, etc.) to well over 1,000, earlier this week ICANN's new Trademark Clearinghouse opened for business. The Trademark Clearinghouse (http://trademark-clearinghouse.com/) is a global repository for trademark data. The new Trademark Clearinghouse will allow trademark owners to submit qualified trademarks to a central repository as a tool to help protect their marks. The verified data in the Trademark Clearinghouse will be used to support both Sunrise Services and Trademark Claims, required in all new gTLDs.

Sunrise Services allow trademark holders an advance opportunity to register domain names corresponding to their marks before names are generally available to the public. New gTLD registries are required to offer a Sunrise period of at least 30 days. The Trademark Claims period follows the Sunrise period and runs for at least the first 60 days of an initial operating period of general registration. During the Trademark Claims period, anyone attempting to register a domain name matching a mark that is recorded in the Trademark Clearinghouse will receive a notification displaying the relevant mark information. If the notified party goes ahead and registers the domain name, the Trademark Clearinghouse will send a notice to those trademark holders with matching records in the Clearinghouse, informing them that someone has registered the domain name.

The Trademark Clearinghouse will cost $150 for a one-year registration, $435 for three years, and $725 for five years (fees are for one trademark).

The Trademark Clearinghouse will play an important role in helping trademark owners protect their trademark rights.

*Mr. MacDonald was formerly a lawyer with Olshan's IP Department.

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