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Trademark Clearinghouse coming in October

Kevin Murphy, January 7, 2012, 14:02:55 (UTC), Domain Policy

ICANN plans to have the Trademark Clearinghouse for new gTLDs up and running by October, according to documents released after this Thursday’s meeting of its board of directors.

The Trademark Clearinghouse is a central repository of trademark information that new gTLD registries will plug their systems into.

When a customer attempts to register a domain name in a new gTLD that matches a trademark in the Clearinghouse, they will receive a warning that they may be cybersquatting.

Nine companies applied for the position of Clearinghouse operator – as a paid service, it’s potentially a money-spinner – and ICANN expects to select one or more from a short-list of five in February.

According to the new ICANN document (pdf), twice-weekly talks between IP lawyers, registries and registrars are expected to finalize the Clearinghouse’s processes by March.

The system could go live by October, giving companies three months to submit their trademarks to the Clearinghouse before the first new gTLDs go live in early 2013, according to ICANN.

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