You've registered your trade mark and a main domain name, XYZ.com. You've probably registered XYZ.co.uk as well just to be sure. But what about the other options? .eu? .info? .biz?
Until now the only way to be absolutely sure that nobody else used your domain name was to buy them all, but with an almost limitless new generation of top level domains (gTLDs) being released soon (e.g. .books, .travel) this is no longer practical.
A new service is being launched today by ICANN, the body that governs the domain name system for website URLs, with the aim of helping individuals and companies protect the ownership of their trade marks from others registering new gTLDs including that mark.
The Trademark Clearinghouse allows companies to register their trade mark so that they may have a chance to pre-register the domains in any sunrise periods and if another individual or company subsequently tries to purchase that domain they will receive a warning that somebody else has registered. Others may still be able to purchase a domain name containing your mark but it will put the TM owner in a position to object.
In our view the system will be a useful monitoring mechanism, especially for those that have suffered at the hands of cyber-squatters before. However the cost ICANN are charging is a little steep - nevertheless it is far cheaper than fighting to get a domain back later.
Registration is for a fixed period of 1 or more years and must be renewed to stay in force.
For more information and advice about whether this may be of benefit to you please contact James Sanderson.
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