Originally published December 29, 2014
Last Published: 8/2/2016
The U.S. Department of Commerce has prepared an information sheet, also in chart form, about protecting trademarks in the expansion of generic top-level domains (such as ".com", ".org", and ".net") in the domain name system. Over 1,300 new domains could become available over the next few years.  The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) website has more information about new domains at http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/ (link is external), including the strings that have been delegated to date.  In order for American businesses to benefit from the new opportunities that this expanded system presents, as well as to protect their business interests, it is important to stay apprised of developments in this area.  These developments include the several Rights Protection Mechanisms (RPMs), currently available only in the new gTLDs, to aid trademark owners in protecting their trademarks: the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) and the Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) system. Information on using these tools to protect your trademarks in domain names is available under Basics of Intellectual Property Rights