Protecting Your Brand as the Internet Expands

Mark V.B. Partridge
Marketing News

Just as we were getting the hang of managing trademarks and brands in the familiar .com, .net and .org Internet, along come 1,930 new generic top level domains (gTLDs) demanding attention and new strategies to secure critical domains and protect valuable intellectual property.

The new gTLD applications include industry terms such as .marketing, .search, .app and .social; geographic terms such as .london, .berlin, .africa and .nyc; and brand names such as .chevrolet, .bridgestone and .toshiba. The first four of these new gTLDs were approved for delegation on Oct. 22, 2013, with hundreds more set to roll out in the coming months. Are you ready?

A complete list of the applications and their status can be found at But our focus is the space to the left of the dot in Web addresses. In the existing .com world, enforcement proceedings and defensive registrations to protect trademark rights have become a common but unwelcome cost of doing business. This burden will only grow with the launch of hundreds of new gTLDs and the possibility of almost unlimited opportunities for abusive domain name registrations in conflict with a company’s brands. Marketers must take the following three steps to confront this looming challenge:

  1. File your trademarks in the Trademark Clearinghouse.
  2. Register your desired marks and names in the new TLDs.
  3. Create an effective enforcement plan.


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