New gTLD Domain Trademark Sunrise
Before new domain names can be offered to the public, trademark owners must be permitted to register or block their brand names under each new domain extension. ‘Trademark Sunrise’ is one of many new rights protection mechanisms being implemented for new gTLDs to help prevent cybersquatting and abuse.
The Trademark Clearinghouse is now open – Brand Protection for New gTLDs starts HERE
For example, if the gTLDs “.shoes” and “.fitness” were granted, the sunrise requirement would give Nike time to reserve “nike.shoes” and “nike.fitness,” in turn, instead of finding out one day that an unauthorized registrant was using those new domain names to masquerade as Nike.
Trademark Sunrise ‘A’
A universal requirement for all new tld registries is the use of at least one trademark sunrise which is supported by the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH). To be eligible a trademark must meet the minimum requirements set by the TMCH provider – usually it will need to be a registered trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or similarly recognized national agency of another country.
A new gTLD may undergo multiple sunrise phases that would employ varying degrees of eligibility requirements. Remember that each New gTLD launch will be unique and may include variations.
Trademark Sunrise ‘B’
Some New gTLDs may opt for additional sunrise considerations for brands that do not necessarily meet the minimum requirements of the TMCH. A sunrise B may allow marks that qualify under common law use. Brands that aren’t officially trademarked but that can demonstrate established prior use may be eligible to register during this phase. Follow each registry launch for sunrise phases and their requirements for the best opportunity at registering your desired names.