What is the Trademark Clearinghouse?
The Trademark Clearinghouse is a way in which trademark owners can protect their marks with the upcoming introduction of new top level domain names. Trademark Clearinghouse is operated by Deloitte, and will allow trademark owners to, for a fee, submit information related to their trademark registration in an effort to protect their trademark in the ever growing domain name space. Put simply, the Trademark Clearinghouse is a central database of validated trademarks that will help defend the trademark owners against cyber squatting or other types of trademark infringement online. Trademark owners can proactively register their trademarks with the Trademark Clearinghouse in order to take advantage of several benefits. First, the sunrise period will give trademark owners the ability to register domain names that match their trademarks before the general public is able to register such domain names. Second, the 90 day trademark claims service will alert trademark owners anytime another individual or company attempts to register domain names that match their trademarks.
What are the benefits of the Trademark Clearinghouse?
One of the greatest benefits of The Trademark Clearinghouse is that trademark owners can register their marks via a single, global repository of registered trademarks. In the past, trademark owners were forced to register with various top level domain names in order to seek any protection or have access to any sunrise period registrations. Now, trademark owners will need to identify their trademark registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or any other trademark registration, and submit a description of the goods or services that match that set forth in the certificate of registration.
When Should I add my Mark to The Trademark Clearinghouse?
Time is of the essence as it relates to the Trademark Clearinghouse. There is always a risk that waiting will not leave enough time to deal with any administrative corrections, or otherwise missing the sunrise period. There are specific requirements to ensure that even if you posess a trademark registration with USPTO or otherwise, in order for your trademark to be accepted into the Trademark Clearinghouse, such as the certificate itself and sample of use, among others.
Ultimately, all trademark owners should consider whether or no to have their trademark attorney submit their trademark to the Trademark Clearinghouse. With the explosion of domain names nearing, it not only will provide protection for your trademarks but also will provide an opportunity to be the first to register, if you so choose, domain names that correspond to your trademark in these new TLD's. As trademark and domain name attorneys, Traverse Legal can assist you with the Trademark Clearinghouse submission process and other items related to your trademark enforcement in the domain name space.