What is a gTLD ?  gTLD= generic Top Level Domain

  • The initial general purpose domains from 1984 were com, edu, gov, mil, org – .net  was added later.
  • Seven more were added in 1998 .aero, .biz, .coop, .info, .museum, .name, .pro. followed by .xxx in 2011.
  • These were followed in due course by .asia, .cat, .jobs, .mobi, .tel and .travel.

Often these TLD’s were dogged by problems and delays in their implementation. Fast forward (sort of) to now.

In 2011 ICANN called for applications from organisations wishing to establish a new gTLD. A total of 1,930 applications were submitted by those wishing to manage their own gTLD. These included large corporations like Google, Amazon, BMW and many others, in some cases they applied for just one name e.g. .BMW and in other cases they applied for dozens of names.

Applications were also made by cities e.g. .Berlin, .Wien (Vienna) and Governments, particularly for Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) – domain names represented by characters other than the traditional ASCII characters (a through z). Domain names are/will be available in Russian, Arabic, Korean, Chinese, Greek, Hindi  and in many cases the new gTLD’s will allow the use of accents in French and Spanish.

PDT = Pre-Delegation Testing

Please see the official ICANN  page for the most up to date version of this graphic  http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/program-status/timelines

or see Rexco’s list of New gTLD’s Delegated

Who or What are ICANN

ICANN was founded in 1998 and it is the organization responsible for generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs).

Contracts are now being signed  and gTLD’s are being added to the global pool of available strings / endings. ICANN’s New gTLD Program will result in the expansion of available Top-Level Domains (gTLDs), such as .COM, .NET or .ORG, to hundreds & hundreds of new names or “strings”. Many new gTLD’s will come available in the next few months. Sunrise is mandatory however not all Registries will implement a Landrush stage.

New Domain Extension roll-out timeline
New domain extension roll-out timing

Sunrise and Trademarks

Sunrise allows trademark holders an advance opportunity to register domain names corresponding to their marks before names are generally available to the public. Provided the Trademark has been validated by The Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH). New gTLD registries are required to offer a Sunrise period of at least 30 days. ICANN have introduced the Trademark Clearinghouse, a central database of validated trademarks. Any trademark holder, private person, or company can submit their trademark to the Clearinghouse. The Trademark Clearinghouse in itself is not a trademark office,  only after your trademark is registered (with your national authority) can you have included it in the Clearinghouse. Apart from registered trademarks, the Clearinghouse also accepts marks protected by statute or treaty or court validated marks.

The Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH)

The Trademark Claims service follows the Sunrise. It is a notification service – mandated by ICANN for all new gTLDs – to warn both domain name registrants as well as trademark holders of possible infringements. The service works as follows:

Potential domain name registrants receive a warning notice when attempting to register a domain name that matches a trademark term in the TMCH. If, after receiving and accepting the notice, the domain name registrant does continue to register the domain name, the trademark holder with a corresponding mark will receive notification of the domain name registration, so they can take any appropriate action if should they so desire.

Why is it Needed?

  • to help Trademark holders protect their rights
  • to help Trademark holders monitor hundreds of new gTLD’s
  • to help prevent cybersquatting

What is the TCH fee?

  • $150 per annum (per block of 10 labels)

What is a Label?

A label is a text string that is directly derived from your trademark to be used as part of a domain name. A label contains all characters that are contained in a trademark (or their representations) which are allowed to be used as a domain name. Whitespaces or ampersands cannot make it into a domain name and thus would be omitted or replaced when generating labels.

For example, if your trademark is “Murphys Bar”, two labels would be available for this trademark:

  • murphysbar
  • murphys-bar

It is important to note that the label generation algorithm only allows exact representations of the trademark. Variants such as plurals (murphysbars) or typos (murphyzbars) are *not* included in the labels.
When submitting a trademark to the TMCH, labels to be used for Sunrise or Claims Service can be individually selected.

What does the fee include?

  • Registration and verification of the trademark record
  • Sunrise services for all new gTLD Sunrise periods, not just one
  • Trademark claims services for all new gTLDs, not just one
  • Linking up to 10 domain name labels to the registration
Trademark holders

What is the first step to take?

Trademark holders should register with the TMCH, only those marks validated by TMCH will be eligible for registration at the Sunrise stages.  Contact us to help you with this process

For more information see  ICANN’s New gTLD FAQ  and their  Trademark Clearinghouse FAQ.