Monday, January 28, 2013

Trademark Clearinghouse: examples please?

It is yet unclear what the Trademark Clearinghouse does and what it does not.

I recently launched a small poll on LinkedIn with a very basic question which should normally be answered by a "yes" or a "no". Services provides and law firms are welcome to vote and participate to provide more information. They can even promote themselves if they explain their answers.

I strongly believe examples and case figures should be provided on the official Trademark Clearinghouse web site so brands and interested parties can have serious answers. I was recently reported that a major service provider offering a Trademark Clearinghouse Webinar was not able to answer the most simple questions. I myself listened to the one from Markmonitor and was satisfied by the level of knowledge.

Here are listed the most common questions I receive/ I will probably launch new "yes/no" polls on the "new generic Top-Level Domains" group on LinkedIn.

Questions I received:

  • If I register my brand "melba" in the Trademark Clearinghouse, will it be blocked from being registered by a third party?
  • If I register my brand "melba" in the Trademark Clearinghouse, will I be the only person to be allowed to register the same domain name during the Sunrise Period of:
    • One specific extension?
    • All of them?
  • Is it possible to register an applied for string in the TMCH?
  • If I register my brand "melba" in the Trademark Clearinghouse, will I be the only person to be allowed to register pechemelba.food?
  • If a Geographical Indication is registered in the Trademark Clearinghouse, what incidence will it have on other strings than .WINE and .VIN?
  • If a Registrant applies to register a domain name matching a mark registered with the TMCH (assuming both parties receive notice from the TMCH), will the trademark owner have any recourse to prevent the registration of the domain name, besides recourse of the URS and UDRP?
And questions I received not necessarily related to the TMCH:
  • If an new gTLD applicant succeeds in registering the .RUGBY domain name extension, will it still be possible for someone to register the domain name rugby.sport? (There are applicants for the .rugby Top-Level Domain);
  • As a brand applicant, will it be possible to register a country name as a domain name (ex: france.brand) and if "yes", what will the procedure be since country names are protected in the Applicant Guidebook?
Answers to these questions were given here.

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