On 26 March 2013, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”) launched the Trademark Clearinghouse.
It is envisaged that the Trademark Clearinghouse will provide a database for individuals and businesses to register their brands, ahead of the release of around 2000 generic top-level domains (“gTLDs”), e.g. .news, later this year.
The Trademark Clearinghouse will primarily serve two functions. Firstly the “Sunrise” registration service, which allows members of the Trademark Clearinghouse to register a domain name that corresponds to their registered mark at least 30 days before such TLD becomes available to the public.
Secondly, Trademark Clearinghouse participants acquire access to a trademark claims service, which notifies the trademark holder if a third party applies for a domain that matches their mark. It is important to note that both the Sunrise and trademark claims services require an exact match to the registered mark in order to trigger notification.
Fees for joining the Trademark Clearinghouse range from $95 to $150 per year per trademark, although there will be discounts depending on the number of trademarks recorded and the duration of such registrations.