Cancels two approvals, more to come?
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is finally catching on to a game I’ve reported about many times: trying to sneak through a trademark on a top level domain name.
The USPTO has a policy of not issuing trademarks for top level domain names. But that hasn’t stopped people from trying to get one, which may give them some negotiating or legal power for TLDs.
One common trick is to use a Wild West Domains domain reseller account as proof of using .whatever in commerce.
These applications often also say the goods and services covered are domain registration services, rather than registry services.
But last week the USPTO “took back” the registration (albeit on the supplemental register) for .bank as well as for .secure. In a letter to the applicant, the USPTO wrote:
The imminent expansion of available generic TLDs underscores the consumer perception that TLDs used in connection with domain name registration services should be perceived as TLDs rather than as source indicators.