CPA Global takes a lead in helping clients protect and develop their brands online as domain space set to expand

18 Sep, 2013

CPA Global, the world’s leading intellectual property (IP) management and software specialist, announced today that it will be providing a range of support services to help clients protect and develop their brands online as the Internet domain space expands significantly through the new Generic Top Level Domains (gTLD) programme.


Services include support for new gTLD launches, monitoring gTLD applications by other parties that might impact on a client’s brand or trademark, and managing Trademark Clearing House registrations.


The Trademark Clearing House (TMCH) is a key mechanism within the New gTLD Programme that is being introduced by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) – the governing body of the internet domain name system. There will be three new categories of gTLDs, covering brands (eg .brand); generic sectors or subjects, (eg .food); and geographies (eg .London). The first of these expanded gTLDs are expected to be launched before the end of 2013.


“With the anticipated increase in the number of domain extensions, trademark owners will face even greater challenges when assessing their brand development and protection policies,” said Catherine La Rooy, Head of Domains at CPA Global. “The TMCH, for example, is an important registration and rights protection mechanism within the gTLD programme, but there is still some confusion and concern surrounding it. The fact is that big changes are coming to the domain name sector, and trademark owners need to be prepared for them. CPA Global will be supporting clients with gTLD launches and extended monitoring, as well as the TMCH registration and management process.”


The TMCH is a global repository for trademark data. To enrol, trademark holders must submit certain information pertaining to their trademark, such as the registration data, example proof of use, and a signed declaration of use. The TMCH will then validate this data against that held in the relevant Trademark Office.


While trademark professionals familiarise themselves with the intricacies of these industry changes, La Rooy said that trademark owners need to have a good understanding of the two primary functions of the TMCH: the ‘Sunrise’ pre-registration period and the ‘Trademark Claims’ period.


With the launch of every new gTLD, there is a ‘Sunrise’ period of at least 30 days before general registration, which gives trademark holders priority on registrations. This is followed by a ‘Trademark Claims’ period of at least 90 days, during which the TMCH issues warning notices to prospective domain name registrants who are attempting to register a domain name that matches a trademark term in the TMCH. 

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