Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Did you know there is a new gTLD dedicated to Trademarks?

Do Trademark owners know that there is a new generic Top-Level Domain which means "Trademark"?

We already know that there is a list of Trademarks which applied for their own domain name extension but the case of the ".商标" TLD is for Trademarks in general: ".商标" means "Trademark" in Chinese. In simple words, it means that a could be registered and in even more simple words, it means that a www.yourbrand.TRADEMARK could be registered in Chinese language.

How come no one noticed?
It is rather strange that no one noticed about this TLD and even if the official Registry is very explicit about its TLD (understand that there is no trick here), there were no public comments about it but a few and dated...2012. A few questions arise:
  • What would have happened if an applicant had come with a ".TRADEMARK" new gTLD application?
  • Would it have gone through naturally with so few public comments?
  • Would Law Firms have let this happen without saying anything?
  • What about the International Trademark Association (INTA): would it have let this happen?
What should Trademarks do?
This TLD is sensitive and Trademarks should keep an eye on it. To do so,  registering in the Trademark Clearinghouse allows to activate notifications when a third party tries to register your sign as a domain name in any new domain name extension. Agood thing to do would be to register your domain name...just in case.

What do I think about this idea?
I think this idea is a great one but and shows three things to me:
  1. There is still a language problem with ICANN because I am certain this application would have been contested if someone had come with the same application in English. 
  2. As this ex ICANN Board Member states in this video, this should be a profitable TLD since the ICANN new gTLD program is a way for Registrars and Registries to make money (at least that what she said in 2012).
  3. If the .商标 went through on the first Round of the ICNAN new gTLD program, why wouldn't the English (and/or French) version of the string do the same in Round 2?
So what now?
Tomorrow, the TLD enters the claims notification period: may I suggest to hurry-up?

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