Do tell, ICANN– in what way does the Trademark Clearinghouse protect anything?
- Does it block others from registering trademarks for which they have no legitimate right?
- Does it notify trademark owners in advance of a pending registration?
- Does it provide warnings of infringing names beyond exact match?
- Does it even provide notifications of exact-match registrations beyond the first 60/90 days of the general registration period?
Of course, the answers to all of these questions is a resounding NO.
Now, I am not saying that the Trademark Clearinghouse is not without value. It will undoubtedly streamline the validation process for trademarks so that they can qualify for Sunrise Registrations. Having to validate trademarks with each individual new gTLD registry would have been extremely time-consuming, and possibly much more expensive.
That said, the Trademark Clearinghouse is not, and has never been a Rights Protection Mechanism, and trying to classify it as one only makes trademark owners even more frustrated.