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Expansion of Domain Name Space May Shift Trademark Protection Strategies

Issued: March 24 2014

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) warns the unprecedented expansion of the internet domain name space may disrupt existing strategies for trademark protection on the web.


Francis Gurry, director general of the WIPO, said in a WIPO statement that trademark owners have been facing significant uncertainty in the expansion of the Domain Name System (DNS) while at the same time working with reduced protection budgets.


“The proliferation of potential web addresses, with the expected roll-out of 1,400 new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), will force trademark owners to adjust their priorities in terms of registration and protection choices,” he added.


Besides domain names such as .com, .net, .org, .gov, and .edu, new gTLDs might include addresses ending in guru, bike, singles, as well as clothing, holdings, plumbing and ventures.

Gurry noted that registering a domain name is a cheap, automatic procedure that takes a matter of seconds and does not have a filter to examine whether there is a trademark conflict, according to AFP’s report.


"That brings with it the attendant inconvenience of a much greater burden of surveillance on the part of trademark owners," the report cited Gurry.


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