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26.03.2013 10:56

Trademark Clearinghouse for trademark protection has opened

From Tuesday March 26 2013 Trademark proprietors from all over the world have the opportunity to lodge their trademarks with the trademark clearing house in order to secure their privileges in relation to the allocation of new Top Level Domains (TLDs).

By: Normen Lang, Attorney

The Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) established a clearinghouse for trademarks. The entry at the clearing house is to facilitate Trademark owners to take action against counterfeiting and domain grabbing.

In 2011, ICANN has decided to implement new address zones. One has the opportunity to register almost any terms as TLDs. It is no longer limited to the traditional TLDs like .net, .de, .com, etc. The Clearing House supports a process that protects the existing rights. It should be noted, that an entry in the clearinghouse`s register does not automatically result in that only the proprietor, who entered his trademark in this register is automatically entitled to be the sole owner of a corresponding TLD since there are many address areas that are not designated as an open zone, but only for certain users. Regarding the open address zones the old principle of 'first come, first served "won´t be applicable but several trademark owners may quarreling about a certain TLD. This is because that the scope of protection of a trademark is usually limited to certain classes and countries whereas a TLD is globally registered for one person or one firm only. It is therefore not intended that only the one who has his mark registered in only country for one Nice Class and who firstly entered his trademark in the register of the Clearing House will automatically get the appropriate TLD if there are  further entries of other trademark owners for the same domain. It is therefore assumed that there will be auctions of TLDs among the trademark owners who made entries in the register of the clearing house for the same trademark.

The cost for entering a trademark into register of the clearing house is U.S. $ 145. If the mark is deposited at the clearing house, the trademark owner can prevent domain grabbers from registering a corresponding TLD. The Clearing House monitors 90 days all new domain registrations with new TLDS. The owners are automatically notified of domain registrations, which are identical to the registered mark. It is particularly advantageous that all contracting authorities are obliged to resort to the records held at the clearing house. It is recommended to deposit trademarks with the clearing house before starting the first Sunrise periods in summer of 2013.

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