The .bank top-level-domain (TLD) is scheduled to open to the general public on June 1, 2015. As previously reported in the December 2014 issue of this newsletter, only verified members of the banking community will be able to register .bank domain names, such charter verification to be accomplished through applicants’ local and/or national regulators. In addition, .bank registrants will be required to adhere to several additional requirements, which can be found at http://goo.gl/K64qjG (See, Nos. 24-26).

Trademark owners that have recorded their trademarks with the Trademark Clearinghouse will be able to pre-register domain names that match their trademarks during the Sunrise period, which is expected to run from May 1st through May 31st of this year. Registration in the Clearinghouse also allows trademark owners to receive notices when anyone registers a .bank domain name that matches any of the trademarks they have recorded with the Clearinghouse.

There are two ways to record your trademark with the Clearinghouse. You can either record it directly as the Trademark Holder, or you can contract with a Trademark Agent to record it for you. If you decide to record your trademarks directly as the Trademark Holder, you will be required to make a $15,000 deposit with the Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse website has provided a video to talk you through the registration process, which can be found at http://goo.gl/92F3Cs. For further information about the Clearinghouse in general, see trademark-clearinghouse.com.

In either case, you will need to have the following information:

  • the name of the individual (first and last name) or organization that will enter into a contract (“contracting party”) with the Clearinghouse;

  • if the contracting party is an organization, the name of the individual that is responsible for the organization;

  • the full postal address (street and number, postal code, city, state/province and country) of the contracting party;

  • the email address where all notification and sign-in credentials (User ID and Password) will be sent;

  • the fax number of the contracting party;

  • the phone number of the contracting party.

If the contracting party is located within the European Union, you will also need to provide the value added tax (VAT) number of the contracting party that will be used for invoicing. If the contracting party is exempt from the VAT, the certificate for exemption may be requested by the Clearinghouse later in the registration process.

In addition, if the person who will actually be submitting the trademark records and interacting with the Clearinghouse is different than the contracting party or individual responsible for the contracting party, you will also need to provide the name (first and last name), phone number and email of that individual.

TAKEAWAY

Compliance with the Security Requirements and the process of recording trademarks with the Clearinghouse is not something that can be taken care of overnight. Be sure to leave sufficient time before the Sunrise period begins to review the Security Requirements and your trademark filings with your advisors and handle any bumps in the road so that you can count on your slice of the .bank pie.