The Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) has announced that .COM has been added to its Ongoing Notifications service.
The service, which launched in April 2014, notifies the owner of a trade mark recorded in the TMCH that a new domain name matching their trademark has been registered. There is a mandatory Trademark Claims Period at the start of the General Availability phase of any new gTLD launch, but it only lasts for 90 days. The Ongoing Notifications service offers an extension to that, with notifications being sent out indefinitely.
There are nearly 1,200 gTLDs signed up to the service including the top three New gTLDs by volume : .icu, .top and .xyz. Also included are some legacy gTLDs (those that pre-date the 2012 new gTLD application round) and some IDN gTLDs too. The service itself is free of charge and forms part of the TMCH’s goal to increase the number of trade marks recorded by them.
When a trade mark is recorded at the TMCH, it is given a unique label. That label is then used to determine which domain registrations are considered a match. Exact matches to the label are automatically included in the notifications, whilst variations of a label can be added for a small annual fee to identify domains containing terms similar to the recorded trade mark.
The addition of .COM is significant, since at the end of Q2 2020 it accounted for more than 40% of all registered domains globally. Holders of TMCH Trademark records could well see an increase in the number of notifications they receive, gaining a broader overview of potential infringing domain registrations. These potential infringements can be addressed with appropriate actions; for example, a discrete acquisition, negotiation with the registrant, a cease and desist request or even a formal dispute.
Our Domain Monitoring and Dispute Resolution team can assess the impact of these registrations and work with you to decide the most appropriate course of action. To discuss further and to record your trade mark in the TMCH, please contact us or speak to your Client Manager.