Since the onset of the new gTLDs being offered, it is being reported that the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) program may be causing a negative effect on the registrations of domains. A report released by ICANN on February 2, 2015 has reported that of the new 297 TLDs initiated in the Claims period, that there were 25,221,479 Claim Notices generated for the 4.2 million domains registered, which resulted in only 96,471 completed domain registrations. That is a 6:1 ratio, a significant change from the 4:3 previously reported registration ratio. These numbers also show that there has been more than a 90% decreased in completed registrations since the start of the TMCH program. Those in the industry are stating that the TMCH program is having a very negative ‘chilling effect’ towards those that try to register a domain under one of the new gTLDs.
If you find yourself in a similar situation when filing a domain registration, do not assume that what you have filed is infringing on another’s registered trademark. Since Claim Notices are possibly being sent for even non-fringing marks, you should seek the expert advice of a trademark attorney. Another suggestion is that before you start the process of filing for a trademark under one of the new gTLDs, contact one of our experienced Traverse Legal trademark attorneys to discuss your situation and help you with this trademark registration process.