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TMCH claims may deter legitimate domains

March 10, 2017

Amongst the services offered by the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH), claim notifications are used on a daily basis. In short, the claim notification mechanism notifies applicants that the domain name they wish to register is identical to a prior trademark registered with the TMCH and that the domain name would potentially infringe the trademark.

The claims period lasts for 90 days after the end of the sunrise period.

In a report recently published by ICANN, the consulting firm Analysis Group established that the claim notifications help to deter bad faith registrations of new gTLDs. This is indeed the primary function of this mechanism.

However, the report also implies that the claims notifications could potentially deter legitimate registrations. This is logical since a domain name can be based on other rights as well as on trademark rights.

The report further states that 94% of domain applications are abandoned upon receipt of the claims notification. Of the 1.8 million registration attempts that received a claims service notification, only 6.3% completed the registration process.

Of this 6.3%, 0.3% of the completed registrations resulted in domain disputes.

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