27 February 2013

The new gTLDs and protecting your Domains

What Do We Do Now that the World Didn’t End in 2012? | McDermott Will & Emery - JDSupra:" . . . In light of the new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) that are scheduled to launch in the latter half of 2013, companies should now review their global trademark portfolios for marks they want to protect. The new gTLDs will allow companies to have “.brand” extensions (e.g., .yahoo, .nike) and allow the creation of new domain name registries with extensions containing generic words and locations  e.g., TheFrenchLaundry.restaurant, BuddhaBar.paris). With the launch of almost 1,400 new gTLDs, the World Wide Web is poised to explode with new marketing opportunities and, it can be assumed, opportunistic cyber squatters and domain name thieves. Now is an ideal time to conduct an audit of your company’s global trademark portfolio and decide which trademarks, if any, need to be defensively registered with the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) in order to be protected against potential misappropriation.The TMCH is a centralized depository of information that will function as an authentication/validation mechanism for protecting registered, court-validated and statute- or treaty-protected trademarks as the new gTLDs roll out. Registering trademarks with the TMCH will provide trademark owners (1) access to the Sunrise Period, i.e., the priority domain name registration period before registration opens to the general public; (2) Claims Notices, which will alert trademark owners when a new gTLD is registered that matches their exact trademark; and (3) access to the Uniform Rapid Suspension system and other dispute mechanisms for taking action against abusive and infringing domain names registered by third parties. . . ."

IP lawyers gird for trademark issues amid domain name expansion:
NEW YORK, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Intellectual property attorneys are focused on guarding against misuse of their clients' brand names and trademarks ahead of the massive expansion of Internet domain names, which is expected to begin by the end of 2013. The expansion is forcing brand owners to decide which of their marks to actively protect, including through registering Internet address ownership themselves. The new system, which was announced in 2011 and designed to allow more personalization of Internet addresses, allows a wide increase in the number of so-called "top-level domain names," such as .com, .org or .edu. Applicants can even seek to register for domains that end with a topic, such as .wine or .golf, or with a company name. The number of top-level domain names is expected to leap from 22 to about 1,000 . . . The registration fee of $185,000 per top-level domain name has also served as a deterrent . . . .

Small businesses lose domain names as they wait too long to register their company: "Over a quarter of of small business owners wait months after they’ve registered their company name to register their domain name, risking losing out on their preferred .com or .co.uk web address, according to new research.With so many small businesses going to Companies House before they check for their desired domain name, 1 in 5 (22%) actually lose their preferred name and have to settle for a name not related to their company at all (21%). . . . "

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