We are pleased to learn that the Trademark Clearing House (TMCH) has launched a new Trade Mark Registry Exchange (TREx) service which is designed to help trade mark owners protect their brands on the Internet.
Many trade mark owners will already be aware that you can register your trade marks in the TMCH. When a new gTLD launches there will be a sunrise period during which only the owner of a trade mark in the TMCH may register a domain name corresponding to that trade mark. After this period ends, the domain will be open to registration by any third party.
The new TREx service allows owners with trade marks registered in the TMCH to register their trade marks with the TREx service. Participating Registry Operators will then either remove the ability to register domains which correspond to the trade mark or register domains which correspond to the trade mark using a dedicated ICANN accredited registrar who will hold the domain name inactive. This allows trade mark owners to effectively block their trade marks in a number of TLDs (Top Level Domains) using a centralised service and preventing the need to register blocking domains with each individual registry.
Currently, there are 40 participating TLDs including .fashion, .london and .wedding. More TLDs are expected to join the scheme in the future.
We welcome this new service which is a positive step to help trade mark owners who face difficulties with cyber squatters. The cost of registering trade marks with the TREx service is currently US $260 per mark, which equates to US $4 for each participating TLD. The costs will increase as new TLDs join the scheme. We look forward to more TLDs participating in the scheme in the future and anticipate that this could be of significant benefit to trade mark owners.