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Demystifying ICANN's Trademark Clearinghouse: Five Misconceptions

By Jan Corstens of Deloitte

By this point, most businesses are already aware of the drastic new changes coming to the Internet later this year with the initial rollout of hundreds of new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs), which will create an enormous impact on the current state of the World Wide Web. Soon traditional domains such as .com, .org and .edu will appear alongside more brand-specific, geographic and even foreign script domains such as .microsoft, .london and .天主教. For businesses, the problem is not so much a lack of awareness towards these changes, but rather a significant deficiency of understanding and preparation when it comes to protecting their intellectual property prior to the rollout of the new web extensions.

While the introduction of new domains will present a number of opportunities to enhance competition and innovation online, many business owners are concerned regarding the greater potential for cyber-squatters to infringe on their brand’s intellectual property. To add to this, a recent independent survey commissioned by Deloitte and conducted by Vanson Bourne found that 83 percent of top U.S. businesses believe that the current domain name system already makes it difficult to proactively protect trademarks. Given these existing apprehensions and the expectation that than 1,400 new gTLDs will be introduced to the Internet, it is imperative that organizations are fully informed on how to most effectively protect th...

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