Extension will mostly benefit companies that pay more for longer TMCH registrations.
The Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) for new top level domain names has extended the amount of time it will notify rights holders that domain names matching their trademarks have been registered.
As background, registering a mark with the TMCH provides three services to rights holders when it comes to new top level domain names:
1. Initial eligibility to participate in sunrise periods.
2. Notification to potential domain registrants when they try to register a domain that matches a string listed with the TMCH. For example, if someone tries to register Verizon.mobile, they’d see a notice in the registration path that Verizon claims rights to the mark, and that they need to make sure they are not infringing Verizon’s rights by registering the domain name. (It does not prevent anyone from registering domains, though.)
3. Notification to the rights holder if anyone proceeds to registers a domain name that matches a string in the database.
The second and third features were originally designed to only apply to the first 90 days after a top level domain is launched. Now the third feature will be extended beyond the original 90 day period.
Why is the TMCH doing this? It may be to get more people to pay to register their marks with the service. But it could also be to get them to pay for longer Clearinghouse registrations.
You can register a mark with TMCH for 1, 3, or 5 years. Until this update, the motive for registering for a longer time was that some new TLDs might not be delegated for a couple years. If you register for only 1 year, you won’t get protection on domains that are delegated a year from now.
Now, with the TMCH notifying you about registrations for as long as your TMCH registration lasts, there may be additional incentive to register for five years.