Friday, March 12, 2010

ICANN announces it will develop a trademark clearinghouse for domain name issues


ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), in a meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, announced March 12 that it had approved creating a “trademark clearinghouse”, that is, “an extensive database of trademarks for their protection on the Internet”. The link for the press release in PDF format is here and it was sent to email subscribers today.

The Board rejected a pre-registration process called “Expression of Interest” or EOI, for setting up new gTLD’s, or the last node of a domain name (“.com”).

It appears that ICANN is interested in assisting parties that believe that legitimate trademarks are threatened by new domain names, but another part of the press release appears to distance it from concerns over the main node of the domain name, often perceived by many people as indicative of branding.

Stay tuned as more clarifications come about.

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