The Internet Governance, ICANN, released last July 25 its first interim report on the Trade Mark Clearing House (TMCH). In summary, this report suggests that the RPM system is a failure.
Reminder: in March 2013, ICANN had introduced the TMCH (managed by Deloitte) to protect trademarks with the introduction of the new extensions (new gTLDs). Trademark holders have been able then to register their trademarks in the TMCH and, once validated, these trademarks have been put in the TMDB database (Trade Mark Data Base, managed by IBM). Trademarks validated in this database are receiving priority registration (during the ‘Sunrise’ period) for the new TLDs and notification if any registration by a third party.
On April 1st, 2016, there were only 40 465 validated trademark registrations in the TMCH, of which 32 528 up to date with their TMCH fees. In comparison, in 2014, 333 443 Community trademarks were registered at EUIPO….Therefore, the number of trademarks in the TMCH seems ridiculously low.
Moreover, the ICANN’s report shows that only 19.9% of the owners of trademarks registered in the TMCH have made use of the Sunrise period to register domains. 80.1% of holders have therefore waited for the General Availability period to register their domain names.
The relative failure of this trademark protection procedure is due to the exorbitant cost of Sunrise taxes. Registries thought Corporate Registrants will pay without limit to protect their trademarks. They are wrong, because trademark owners refuse to be victims of this extortion. At the end of the day, the behavior of the registries has weakened the protection of trademarks on the Internet. ICANN should have put some limits to Sunrise Fees and Sunrise period registration fees. Contrary to ICANN belief, this whole procedure of trademark protection (TMCH, Sunrise, etc.) has not been to the benefit of anybody…but to the cyber squatters.
ICANN report is open for public comments click here until September 3, 2016. We advise you to post your comments.