New Domain Names are on the Move!
Kegler Brown Intellectual Property News March 4, 2014
The international body that controls domain name registrations (ICANN) is releasing new domain names, and now is the time for trademark owners to protect their brands!
New top level domains (TLDs) like .clothing, .careers, .computer, .international, .house, .cars and many more ".whatevers" are being released and purchased by domain registrants left and right. You can learn more about the new rollout of TLDs at the Trademark Clearinghouse (an ICANN entity) where you can view the release schedule.
These new TLDs are going to create more "real estate" in the domain space for companies (and individuals) to utilize. Although some brands are comfortable with their current domains, other brands are looking at this as a significant marketing opportunity. The important thing to note is that each operator/domain name registrar controlling the new TLDs is required to give existing brand owners a window of time in order to register before the public (and cybersquatters) can register – this period is referred to as the "Sunrise Period."
As an example of how this would work, consider Chase Bank. Chase Bank would have the ability to register "chase.bank "during the Sunrise Period before the release of .bank to the public. This would allow Chase Bank to own and operate a website at www.chase.bank for its consumers to visit.
The best part is that this process is relatively cheap! The Trademark Clearinghouse provides the following services for a cost of $150 per registered mark, per year:
- Sunrise Support – allows trademark owners to easily register domains in new TLDs for their mark during the Sunrise Period.
- Claim Support – a monitoring service, whereby the Trademark Clearinghouse will provide you with notice if someone else registers a domain using your exact mark after the sunrise period.
Don’t let anyone hijack your brand. Protect your trademarks!