The Trademark Clearinghouse is to give the intellectual property lobby something that it’s been crying out for for years — an indefinite extension of parts of the Trademark Claims service.
And it’s going to be free.
Trademark Claims is a mandatory service for all new gTLD operators, sending pre-registration warnings to registrants and post-registration alerts to mark owners whenever a domain matching a trademark is registered.
But it only runs for 90 days, per the ICANN new gTLD contracts, which TMCH project director Jan Corstens said is IP owners’ “number one complaint” about the system.
So the TMCH is going to extend the post-registration alerts half of the service indefinitely.
When the first new gTLDs officially end their Claims periods next year, the TMCH will continue to send out alerts to mark owners (or, in 90% of cases, their registrar “agents”) when matching domains are registered.
Would-be registrants will only receive their pre-registration warnings for the original 90-day period.
Corstens said that the pre-registration side of Claims would only be possible with the cooperation of registries and registrars, and that there’s a lot of reluctance to help out.
“A lot of them are not really interested in doing that,” he said. “I understand it takes work, and I understand they think it could demotivate potential registrants.”
Trademark owners that have directly registered with the Clearinghouse, rather than going through an agent, will get the extended service for no added charge.
However, Corstens made it clear that the TMCH is not trying to compete with registrars — such as MarkMonitor and Melbourne IT — that already offer zone file monitoring services to trademark owners.
“We know the market exists,” he said. “It’s not our intention to become a monopoly. We will deliver it to them, of course, and assume they can integrate with it.”
Agents will be able to plug the service into their existing products if they wish, he said.
There are a few initial limitations with the new TMCH service such that its registrar agents may not find it particularly labor-saving.
First, only domains that exactly match labels in the Clearinghouse will generate alerts.
By contrast, brand-monitoring registrars typically generate alerts when the trademark is a substring of the domain. To carry on doing this they’ll need to carry on monitoring zone files anyway.
Second, the TMCH service only currently covers new gTLDs applied for in the 2012 round. It doesn’t cover .com, for example, or any other legacy gTLD.
Corstens said both of these limitations may be addressed in future releases. The first Trademark Claims period isn’t due to end until March, so there’s time to make changes, he said.
He added that he hopes the extension of Claims will lead to an uptick in the the number of trademarks being registered in the TMCH. Currently there are about 20,000.
We’ve got five (FIVE!) free tickets to NamesCon to give away to lucky DI readers.
NamesCon is “a pro-new TLDs conference” happening at the Tropicana hotel in Las Vegas from January 13 to 15, 2014.
It’s being organized by domain investor Richard Lau, Jothan Frakes (Domain Roundtable, DomainFest), and Jodi Chamberlain of 32Events (TRAFFIC, Domaining Europe)
NamesCon seems to be planning something a bit different when compared to new gTLD conferences held to date, judging by the speaker line-up, in that there’s more of a crossover between the ICANNer-heavy new gTLD industry and the traditional domainer community.
There’s a whole bunch of confirmed speakers and panelists (including yours truly) and the organizers tell us that over 300 people have so far registered to attend.
Tickets currently cost $399 (it’s $749 on the door) but we have five passes to give away to DI readers.
The organizers tell me that if any of the winners have already purchased a ticket, they’ll get a full refund.
To enter the draw, just leave an answer to the following question (set by NamesCon) in the comments section of this post.
What’s the best way to explain the benefits of new gTLDs to somebody from outside the domain industry?
Winners will be selected from comments using a random number generator at the weekend.
The prizes are 100% discount codes for full conference passes. You’ll still have to arrange and pay for your own travel and accommodation.
If you cannot or do not intend to attend, but still feel compelled to leave a comment, please say so, so I can be sure to exclude you from the draw.
New gTLD software provider Architelos has released a cheaper version of its flagship NameSentry security compliance tool.
NameSentry Lite strips out the automated workflow and mitigation components found in the original, leaving the core threat reports and statistics intact.
It’s designed for smaller TLDs that don’t expect to see a lot of malware or phishing in their zones and it’s priced starting at $139 a month for a TLD with under 5,000 domains under management.
That’s about $100 cheaper than the standard NameSentry, which is geared more towards mitigation and has monthly charges ranging from $249 to $3,999, depending on zone size.
Boutique gTLDs and large portfolio registries such as DotKiwi and Donuts are early customers of the more-expensive version.
Former ICANN chief strategy officer Kurt Pritz has just been named interim executive director of the Domain Name Association, the trade group formed this year to promote the domain industry.
Pritz will “apply his track record in teambuilding and bringing together diverse skillsets to the knowledgeable and talented members of the Domain Name Industry” the group said.
He will participate in a DNA session later this week here in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where ICANN is currently holding its 48th public meeting.
If you’re in BA, the two-hour session will be held from 3pm on Wednesday at the Alvear ART Hotel, Suipacha 1036.
The DNA opened its doors for membership last month, and currently counts the likes of Google, Donuts, Demand Media and Go Daddy among its top-paying members.
.CLUB Domains has selected RightOfTheDot to manage its premium and founders program domains strategy.
The company named “a.club, 888.club, chess.club, poker.club, insurance.club, golf.club country.club, car.club” as examples of “category killer” names that RightOfTheDot will try to find homes for.
.CLUB signed its Registry Agreement with ICANN late last week and plans to go to Sunrise in January.
It’s among the top 30 most popular new gTLDs being pre-registered at 1&1 right now, and recently said it’s hoping to have five million domains under management within five years, an ambitious target.
RightOfTheDot is the new gTLD consultancy founded by domainers Mike Berkens and Monte Cahn.