The ICANN Board has approved the community recommendation that “the provision of Thick Whois services should become a requirement for all gTLD registries, both existing and future.” MarkMonitor has long supported the migration from ‘thin’ to ‘thick’ Whois, which will improve both quality and ease of access to Whois data, thereby further facilitating intellectual property enforcement online. The ICANN community has debated the merits of migration from ‘thin’ to ‘thick’ Whois for years, as part of the larger Whois Review process. A ‘thick’ Whois, which is currently required of all new gTLDs, and will now be required of all existing gTLDs as... Read More
As we draw closer to the first new gTLD registry launch, many companies are beginning the arduous task of developing their new gTLD registration and blocking strategies. And after speaking with dozens of clients, I can tell you that the planned approaches are ranging from very minimal registration and blocking strategies for one or two core brands, all the way through to registrations of multiple brands in every single new gTLD registry. Generally speaking, we are recommending that companies look to register only exact-matches of their core trademarks in registries where there is a close correlation between the brand and the... Read More
Really ICANN? The Trademark Clearinghouse provides unprecedented protection. According to your recent announcement it does. 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... Read More
With the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) expected to begin accepting submissions within the next month or so, many companies are now attempting to identify marks for inclusion. As a reminder, the TMCH is a centralized repository of validated rights which will be used in support of ICANN’s New gTLD Program. Submissions to the TMCH enable brand owners to register their trademarks as domain names during so-called Sunrise Periods. To participate in any New gTLD Sunrise, marks must be validated by the TMCH. In addition, the TMCH provides notifications to brand owners when an exact-match domain name registration is made during the first... Read More
When the ICM Registry initially launched .XXX last year, the notion of a ‘registration block’ was a fairly novel idea. Essentially, the ICM Registry allowed companies who were not part of the “global adult entertainment industry”, to seek permanent removal of names matching their trademarks from the general pool of names available for registration for a low-cost fee. Many saw this move by the ICM Registry as a genuine attempt to protect the rights of brand owners, while others saw it as yet another mechanism for generating revenue from rights owners under the guise of a   “Sunrise Period.” While most brand... Read More

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Alison Simpson
With more than 13 years’ experience in the domain industry, Alison has managed all aspects of Corporate Domain Managem... More