New Top Level Domain Names – Can you protect your Brand?

An Explosion of New Domain Names

The Internet currently operates with 22 Top Level Domains*. ICANN, the organization that manages these names, has proposed an expansion to provide more generic names, perhaps .store for example, or .book.  Under the proposed expansion, there may be as many as 1,400 new Top Level Domains.

*NOTE: this does not include country based names like the Canadian  .ca, for example, another large category. A top level domain is the portion of the domain to the right of the “dot,” such as .com, .net, and .org.

The expansion in Domain Names from 22 to 1,400 has to make protecting a name/Brand much more difficult, on the other hand, the benefits are obvious. It is a crowded and chaotic marketplace, and clarity is valuable.

It makes sense to take what steps you can to to protect your domain name and the Brand it represents, by registering the names you need as soon as possible, and registering your Trademark with ICANN’s Trademark Clearing House.

ICANN, has created two tools which while not perfect do afford some advantage to those with Registered Trademarks. One allows you register your new domain name in a ‘sunrise’ period before the general public, the second notifies you if a registration that contains your trademark has been requested.

If you have a trademark and want to participate in the sunrise and claims notice programs,you must record your mark with the Trademark Clearing House well before a new Top Level Domain begins offering domains for registration, so it is important to record your registered trademarks with them asap.

We can help with all of that.

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