ICANN expects the first New gTLD to be delegated (activated) on August 28, 2013, signaling the time when brand owners must finally be prepared for the addition of more than 1,000 new extensions to the Internet.
Many businesses have taken a “wait-and-see” approach to registering their trademarks with the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH), which is arguably the most important of the rights-protection mechanisms built into the New gTLD program. For the best chances of success, however, companies should formulate their strategy and plans for the TMCH now.
There are several reasons to do so. First of all, deciding which marks to register may take longer than you expect. It’s important to evaluate your trademark portfolio in depth. Getting the necessary paperwork (proof-of-use documents, etc.) in order for each trademark can also take quite a while—in some cases, several weeks. Start preparing today, and get help with the process immediately to ensure that you can participate in the most Sunrise periods possible.
It’s important to note that the TMCH is already reporting delays in verifying marks registered in certain jurisdictions— China and Japan, for example—due to the additional checks required. The TMCH is also seeing more than half of all applications fail due to various reasons. An official agent can simplify the application process for you and help you file successful registrations.
Lastly, waiting too long to register your marks may lead to delays in completing the process. If you wait much longer, it’s possible that the agent you choose may not have the necessary operational capacity, thus derailing your chances of successful registrations.
This information was prepared by CSC Digital Brand Services, an official agent of the Trademark Clearinghouse. For more information about the benefits of choosing an agent or conducting your own registrations, please review our TMCH infographic.
You can find additional resources on the TMCH in the latest edition of our newsletter, The Brand Bulletin, as well as in “The Truth About the Trademark Clearinghouse,” a CSC Digital Brand Services webinar recording.