With the first seven top-level domains going live on January 29th, and more new TLD domains becoming available each week throughout 2014, trade-mark holders may wish to grab some protection through ICANN’s Trademark Clearinghouse.
For $150/year per Trade-mark, the Clearinghouse will warn potential domain squatters that they are attempting to register a domain against an existing trade-mark.
What’s unique about this service is that they will do this for all the incoming new TLD domains, and I assume, make these warnings available through all the domain registrar companies.
One of the questions I’m frequently asked is, “Should we register all the TLD domain variations for our company? .info, .biz, etc.” As a protection mechanism, this has always been a questionable strategy — at least for smaller businesses. Firms or companies could literally spend thousands of dollars registering variations of names and domain extensions. That situation will only get worse with the hundreds of new domains coming online in the near future.
The existence of the Trademark Clearinghouse will be “old news” to most Trade-mark lawyers reading, but as a protection strategy for a limited number of Trade-marks, self-registering a trademark or two seems to be a worthwhile expense.