How do I register a domain name associated with my trademark?
This article will explain how trademarks are protected as part of the gTLD registration process, and what happens when a trademarked domain is registered.
gTLD domain names are protected by the Trademark Clearinghouse, which administers a large, centralised database that contains trademark data submitted by organisations looking to protect their brand.
As a brand owner, you can submit your trademarks to the database both prior to, and during, the launch of new gTLDs. This will give you access to every Sunrise period, which will allow you first option to register any new TLDs to help protect your brand. As part of this, you will receive your SMD file, which acts like a password when you come to register your new TLD. Having your trademark in the Clearinghouse is the minimum condition to be able to register your corresponding domain name during the Sunrise period.
Having your trademark in the Trademark Clearinghouse also means that you will be notified every time someone tries to register a domain name that you have a claim for.
What happens if I try to order a domain with a Trademark Claim?
When you search for a domain and add it to the basket, you will receive a page informing you of any trademark claim. There will be an explanation of the trademark claim, along with a statement explaining that registering the domain may lead to a Trademark dispute.
You can then either remove the domain from the basket or confirm that you have read the notice and continue with the order.
Once the transaction goes ahead, the owner of the trademark will be notified that the domain has been registered. From there, they can potentially file for a trademark infringement dispute, in case the domain in question is used abusively.