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ICANN Launches Domain Name Trademark Clearinghouse
WASHINGTON (3/27/13)--A new trademark clearinghouse database is now being offered in a bid to help businesses register their trademarks before a raft of new domain names are approved, and that database was launched by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) on Tuesday.

According to ICANN, the clearinghouse will serve as a global repository for trademark data. The data held in the clearinghouse will help support future trademark claims and protect trademark rights.

ICANN last year accepted applications from individuals and groups interested in buying the rights to new "top level domain names." Domain names are the words to the right of the dot in an Internet address (URL). The domain name applications can encompass communities of businesses or services, such as ".creditunion" or ".news," and can also be used to market specific brands or products.

The Credit Union National Association has submitted an application for the ".creditunion" domain name. The ".creditunion" top level domain, if obtained, would be available to credit unions to supplement or replace their existing Web names at a roughly estimated cost of $100-$200 annually per credit union, according to CUNA. CUNA President/ CEO Bill Cheney has said the move to reserve a credit union-specific top-level domain "ensures this important identifier will stay in credit union hands and will allow the credit union movement to collectively take full advantage of the next stage of the Internet's development and growth."

ICANN last week approved 27 new domain name suffixes in non-English languages, including Arabic and Chinese.

Nearly 2000 domain name applications have been submitted, and ICANN is reviewing the domain names, approving them, classifying them as being eligible for extended evaluation, or classifying them as ineligible for further review.

ICANN is releasing these evaluations at an initial rate of 30 per week, and plans to increase that rate to 100 evaluations per week, with the ultimate goal of releasing all evaluations by August.


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