Brand protection has become increasingly complex. Every brand should have an online presence, so for Canadian businesses, at least the .com and .ca domain names should be protected. Read more about What Domains Canadian Small Businesses Should Have.
With social media, brand protection became even more complicated. Whether a business is fully engaged on social media or not, it should at least protect its names across different social media platforms. Just as businesses were starting to catch onto online brand protection, the Internet is changing again by introducing more new domain extensions like .web, .blog, .shop, .inc this year. Read more about How to Prepare Your Business for 2013’s Internet Domain Landrush.
The one form of relief for trademark holders is the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH). The TMCH allows trademark owners to submit their trademark data for validation once and be protected across various domain extensions.
What you need to know about the TMCH
The TMCH acts as a central repository for trademarks. All trademarks submitted to the TMCH are validated by Deloitte and stored in an IBM database.
This is the only database recognized by ICANN and all domain name registries.
- Nationally or regionally registered word marks from all jurisdictions.
- Word marks validated through a court of law.
- Word marks protected by a statute or treaty.
How the TMCH works
Once trademarks are validated and during the initial 90-day claims period after a new domain extension launches, each time a third-party attempts to register a domain matching your trademark stored in the TMCH, a warning is displayed in real-time to the third-party.
If the third-party proceeds, the trademark owner is notified and allowed to dispute the registration, thus protecting the trademark and brand.
Trademarks validated by the TMCH and have demonstrated ”proof of use” receive access to register new domain extensions before the general public during a priority phase called “Sunrise”.
For more information: www.webnames.ca/trademark; 1-866-470-6820; or email email@example.com.
Note – Adapted from the original article published in Business in Vancouver on June 4, 2013