New Global Top Level Domains: Cautionary tale for mark holders?

startups wordsLooking back on 2012, there is one great unknown in connection with trademarks and their intersection with the Internet. Applications for new Top Level Domains (TLDs) were accepted between January – April 2012, opening up the possibility of unlimited registration of marks and keywords as TLDs. Even if you elected not to register a new TLD, we need to be vigilant. Someone else may apply to register a mark or keyword relevant to your company or industry to which you may object. After the registration period for new TLDs closed in April 2012, Shapiro Law reviewed the applied-for TLDs and contacted our clients with any possible concerns by November 2012.

In addition, when new TLDs were approved, it’s advisable to register your house or product marks as a Second Level Domain (SLD) within a new TLD, e.g., SLD.TLD. It is also possible that someone may attempt to register one of your marks as a SLD. To monitor third party registrations, we recommend that you consider a watch service for any TLDs that you may have an interest in or concern about. (FYI: Such domain name watch products don’t yet exist, but we anticipate appropriate watch products will be available in due course.)

Someone may register your mark or an industry keyword and you may want to object to such registration. We are monitoring all aspects of the new TLDs and will keep you apprised of relevant developments.