Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Period of Adjustment

This blog is intended to serve trademark owners in connection with the pending introduction of new top-level domains (TLDs). As you may be aware, the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is planning to permit the registration of, potentially, 300 new TLDs, beginning in 2010. A TLD in a domain name consists of the letters to the left of the last dot in a domain name, such as .com, .net and .gov. ICANN's introduction of a host of new TLDs could possibly include generic terms (.food, .sport), trademark terms (.deloitte) or geographic terms (.nyc, .berlin).

Trademark owners are likely already well aware of the challenges related to the easy registration of domain names that may include terms identical or confusingly similar to their mark. These challenges are only going to increase, but that should not mean trademark owners feel overwhelmed. Trademark owners will, however, need timely and accurate information related to the process, as well as the aftermath.

There is no shortage of content on the Internet related to the introduction of new TLDs, but the information dedicated specifically to the unique challenges of trademark owners is less robust. Hopefully, this blog will serve to keep trademark owners abreast during this period of adjustment.