The Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) is a mechanism allowing trademark owners to introduce data about their trademark in a centralised database before and during the launch of the new domain names gTLDs. As such, it notifies the trademark owners as soon as an identical domain name bearing the new gTLD is registered by a third party. Besides, it allows them to benefit from a priority right on the registration of their domain names during the Sunrise Period.
The notifications have been sent from February 3, which is the date where “.شبكة” gTLD meaning “.web” has become active. Since the launch of the new gTLD programme by ICANN, around 180 000 domain names have been registered. Nevertheless, the TMCH has sent around 17 500 notifications to the trademark owners, amounting to 10% of the registered domain names in the new gTLDs!
According to Jan Corstens, the TMCH’s project director, with numerous users “seeking to get their hands on new domain names at the earliest opportunity”, trademark owners who are not yet registered to the TMCH take a significant risk.
In the upcoming years, numerous gTLDs will come to life. “For brands and businesses to take full advantage of the array of new opportunities these launches will provide, they must take action now” added Corstens.
But the TMCH is not without flaws. Firstly, because it does not prevent third parties from registering domain names reproducing the trademarks. Secondly, because it detects solely domain names reproducing the trademark identically, without taking into account typosquatting cases.
In spite of these limitations, the Trademark Clearinghouse functions properly and reveals to be effective as shown by the 17 500 notifications sent in short notice to trademark owners.
Dreyfus law firm is a TMCH accredited agent and can help you to resolve your domain names disputes and to consolidate your presence on Internet. Feel free to contact us for any information.