IP Soundings: Generic Top Level Domains and Brand Theft
Earlier this month, Top Level Domain Holdings Limited (TLDH) announced it had raised $10 million through the sale of common stock shares to purchase contested generic top level domains (gTLDs) at auction. TLDH is one of several companies betting that securing the rights to own and operate the most popular gTLDs will ensure a profit windfall.
But for most companies, the decision by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to issue hundreds of new top level domains that can correspond to anything from brands and cities to industries and retail categories, presents a potential minefield of trademark and brand protection questions. In this episode of IP Soundings, David Gryce talks with trademark partner Jim Davis about options that are available to companies in securing their brands in a new digital frontier. In the video interview posted above, Mr. Davis said:
Companies have spent a tremendous amount of time and resources in their budget enforcing their brands and looking for scammers and phishers and cybersquatters while trying to prevent them from trading off trademarks and confusing consumers. Now we’re going from two dozen gTLDs to hundreds of gTLDs.
Earlier this year, Arent Fox was authorized to serve as an agent in the new Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH). As one of the first approved agents, Arent Fox will be able to assist clients with recording their trademarks in the TMCH to ensure their brands are protected before and during the impending launch of hundreds of new gTLDs.
IP Soundings is Arent Fox’s online resource for legal news, analysis, and event information on key issues involving copyright, patent, trademark, and trade secret law, as well as related topics of interest. It includes new video features that address topics critical to advertisers, technology and telecommunications providers, designers, retailers, manufacturers of luxury goods, media companies, and more.
About the Intellectual Property Group
Chambers Global, Chambers USA, and Legal 500 have recognized the firm’s Intellectual Property practice and its attorneys as industry leaders. Arent Fox is one of the few “go-to” firms for novel and high-profile intellectual property issues. With more than 70 full-time IP professionals, the group offers a full range of services across copyright, patent, and trademark matters. In February 2013, Arent Fox’s Intellectual Property practice was recognized for the third consecutive year as a leading trademark group in Washington, DC by World Trademark Review.