Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) send out a press release today claiming that over 500,000 claims notices have been delivered. TMCH is providing protection to over 10,000 brands and businesses and over 28,000 trademarks have been recorded within its database.
The Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) revealed that over 500,000 Claims Notices (CNIS) have been delivered, of which 95% of the queries for trademark terms are not being followed through to a live registration.
Neither is a surprise to me but these numbers don’t tell the truth. Most of the 28,000 trademarks are for dictionary words like gold, smart, blue, cloud, next, sport or even single letters. And multiple notices are delivered when more than 1 trademark exists for a term. And multiple people ordering the same domain each get a notice.
I myself must have produced more than a 1000 claims just by making multiple orders on different registrars for the same domain name, when I start an order and then stop and restart, when my pre-order fails, or just by checking if a domain name has a trademark for research.
5% is 25,000 domain name registrations that have a trademark associated with them. That is not a small number but I guess that 99% of these 25,000 registrations are for dictionary terms.
If all these 25,000 domain name registrations were all infringing on trademarks then you would be seeing more than the 20 URS complaints that have been filed so far.
So no, I wouldn’t say that there is deterrent effect of the Clearinghouse as they claim.
Here is the press release:
The deterrent effect of the Clearinghouse
As key stakeholders in the domain name world turn their attention to the ICANN Singapore meeting this week, the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) can reveal that over 500,000 Claims Notices (CNIS) have been delivered, of which 95% of the queries for trademark terms are not being followed through to a live registration. Notices issued by the TMCH are sent as a warning to anyone attempting to register a domain name which matches a trademark term recorded in the TMCH and this metric clearly shows the deterrent is working.
So far, less than 70 of the 1,300 applied for Top-Level Domains (TLDs) are both live and in the phase of accepting registrations from the general public, yet the number of warnings issued by the TMCH clearly indicates a high level of interest in trademarked terms from third parties.
The data is revealed in conjunction with a key TMCH milestone – the first anniversary since opening for submission of trademarks. To date, the TMCH is providing protection to over 10,000 brands and businesses and over 28,000 trademarks have been recorded within its database. Since its inception, the TMCH has worked continually to raise awareness of its critical function and to maximise the benefits it offers to trademark owners. Crucially, by now it provides an ongoing notification service which is not time limited, as well as protection for previously abused terms.
Jan Corstens, Worldwide Project Director at Trademark Clearinghouse and Partner at Deloitte commented, “Our firm message is to encourage any trademark holders who have yet to record their marks with the TMCH to come forward as soon as possible – it’s not too late to benefit. The TMCH remains the only universal rights protection system across the entire new gTLD programme and by recording protected terms in the TMCH, trademark owners are being offered the best protection available as more new domains are deployed. Together with the URS and UDRP, the TMCH completes ICANN’s right protection toolbox and is the first line of defense and the most cost efficient way before taking any litigating step.”, Corstens continued.