The Internet has changed forever. In 2012 over 1,900 applicants applied for new top level domains (gTLDs to the right of the dot., e.g., .brinkshofer), to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), many more than the 500 initially expected by ICANN.

In order to protect your trademark from the barrage of domain names (to the left of the dot) on the new gTLD websites, which may be operational as early as April 2013, consider using the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) as a cost-effective protection mechanism.

Trademark owners can file their marks on the TMCH beginning on March 26, 2013 and any time thereafter. Once filed, trademark owners will then be notified of identical domain name filings on the new gTLDs which are identical to their marks on the TMCH. At that point, the trademark owner can take the appropriate action to deal with the infringing domain name registration. The new domain registrations will NOT be blocked.