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Publications / Technology, Media and Telecommunications

27 Mar 13
Trade mark owners - the gTLD Trade Mark Clearing House is now open

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Generic top level domains

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) recently provided an opportunity for organisations to register new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) with the view to increasing choice and competition in the domain name space.  

Applications for gTLDs have closed and the new gTDLs applied for include (among others) .florist, .bank, .accountant, .charity, .clothing, .education and .flights.  Owners of the new gTLDs will act like a registry for the gTLD and manage the registration of domains in that gTLD space (i.e. www.flower.florist, www.bobsflorist.florist, www.brisbaneflowers.florist).

Trade mark clearing house

As part of the new gTLD program, ICANN established the Trade Mark Clearing House (Clearing House).  The Clearing House is a centralised database of trade mark information aimed at protecting brands and trade marks in the new gTLD domain space.

When can I apply?

Applications for the Clearing House are now open.  

What are the benefits?

Registering your trade mark in the Clearing House enables you to:

  1. register a domain name in the gTDL space that corresponds with your trade mark in the various upcoming sunrise periods; and
  2. receive early alerts about the registration of domain names that match your trade mark, providing you with the opportunity to take action.

For instance, if you have registered your trade mark for ‘XYZ’ in the Clearing House, and a third party applies to register a domain name for ‘XYZ’ in the gTLD space, the third party will be notified of your trade mark rights.  If the third party applying for the domain name goes ahead with the domain name registration for ‘XYZ’ (despite being put on notice of your trade mark rights), you will be notified and you can consider taking action against that third party.

What are the costs?

The basic official fees per trade mark are:

  1. one year – US$150;
  2. three years – US$435; and
  3. five years – US$725.

Certain discounts are available depending on the number of trade marks you apply to register and the manner of the registration.

How can we assist?

McCullough Robertson offers a full service trade marks practice and can assist you with:

  1. providing advice on the Clearing House program and registration process;
  2. providing recommendations on the trade marks you should apply to register in the Clearing House, including providing you with the required trade mark information based on your registrations;
  3. advice on how to apply to register your trade marks in the Clearing House; and
  4. taking action against registrants for domain names in the gTLD space that infringe your trade marks.


Focus covers legal and technical issues in a general way. It is not designed to express opinions on specific cases. Focus is intended for information purposes only and should not be regarded as legal advice. Further advice should be obtained before taking action on any issue dealt with in this publication.

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