A US trademark on the term “.bank” granted to a likely .bank top-level domain applicant has been canceled just over a week after it was approved.
The Patent & Trademark Office withdrew trademark 4,085,335 yesterday, stating that it had been issued to Asif LLC in error.
The USPTO noticed that the application was for a gTLD string after receiving a letter of protest on January 6, which it forgot to process before granting the trademark.
In a letter to Asif’s lawyers, the USPTO noted that it has a policy of not approving trademarks for TLDs, adding:
The USPTO has broad authority to correct mistakes…
In view of the letter of protest prior to registration and the clear violation of the USPTO’s established policy that marks such as this do not function as trademarks, this registration is canceled as inadvertently issued
Asif, which recently changed its name to Domain Security Company, intends to apply to ICANN for .bank and .secure, but as I reported last week it faces an uphill battle given rival .bank bids.
It used a Wild West Domains reseller account to demonstrate to the USPTO it was using the .bank mark.
It’s not currently clear who was responsible for the letter of protest.