USPTO to Karsten: not so fast with .PING
Friday, January 27th, 2012
Trademark office sends office action to PING Golf brand owner.
On Wednesday I posted a list of 115 trademark applications that could be related to new top level domains, along with their current status.
The USPTO has a policy of not granting trademarks on top level domains, and the number of “speculative” trademark applications has ballooned as ICANN gets ready to expand the TLD universe. I discovered that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office was doing a good job catching these applications.
One application that the USPTO may have missed was Karsten Manufacturing’s application for .PING. Karsten manufacturers the PING Golf brand of merchandise.
The USPTO approved the mark for publication on January 17. But today it sent an office action to Karsten because of the top level domain issue.
Karsten can certainly apply for a .ping top level domain — but it can’t try to trademark it under current rules. I can also think of other uses for a .ping TLD, so don’t be shocked if you see more than one application for this domain.