Following the launch of the new top-level domain (TLD) program in 2012, different registries implemented their own various brand protection services to help companies defend their intangible assets from cybersquatting. The diversification of these products is a response to the necessity of protecting rights holders in the face of the multiplicity of registrations now made possible. In the context of an online brand protection strategy, these blocking products guarantee the security of companies’ intellectual property on a large number of domains.
Advantages of blocking products
With thousands of new domains available, cybersquatting has become an omnipresent threat for companies managing their online presence, defending their reputation, but also managing customer retention. Cybersquatting consists of abusively registering a domain name, that is to say, without any right, in order to profit from using a well-known brand name or siphon off that company’s customers. To support companies in protecting their domain names, some registries have developed blocking products, exclusively reserved for trademarks registered with the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH). Subscribing to these trademark protection services represents a less onerous, defensive approach than registering each domain name individually and lets you block the registration of certain domains while offering the flexibility to unblock them whenever you need to use them.
The various blocking products
There are currently four online brand protection services implemented by registries and included with Gandi Corporate Services: DPML, Uni EPS, TRex, and AdultBlock. These are the main options and we’ll be focusing on these in this article, though .club for example, offers a similar service.
The Domain Protected Marks List (DPML) is the mechanism offered by the registry Donuts which is intended to help intellectual property rights holders with their online brand protection strategy. Available to trademark owners that have already been validated by TMCH, DPML guarantees blocking registration of an exact match trademark from among 241 top-level domains (TLDs) offered by the registry. There are two tiers of service: DPML and DPML Plus. The initial offer includes:
Protection of a trademark for 5 years
Identical trademark blocking for TMCH-registered marks
Protection of all “classic” Donuts new gTLDs
Unlimited overrides and blockage of overrides by a third-party with an exact-match trademark registered with TMCH
The specifics of the DPML Plus option are:
Protection for 10 years
Trademark blocking for an exact-match trademark registered with TMCH along with three additional terms (typographic variations or trademark associated with a term describing products or services) across all domains managed by Donuts
Extended protection on all of Donuts’ new gTLDs, whether “classic” or “premium“
Additional add-on that allows blocking of three additional terms available for purchase
Uni EPS is the protection system implemented by Uniregistry for blocking terms within the registry’s first-level domain portfolio. Twenty-three TLDs are covered by Uni EPS, notably:
Exact-match trademark blocking for TMCH-registered trademarks
Protection on all “classic” Uniregistry domains (“premium” and restricted domains are excluded)
Protection throughout the year on new domains (notably ccTLDs and gTLDs) available for an additional fee
AdultBlock lets you block registrations linked to a trademark as well as other distinctive signs on the four domains related to the adult industry: .xxx, .adult, .porn, and .sex. Your domain names will not be registered but will also not be available for registration, which allows you to continue to control your image. While AdultBlock is active on one or more terms, the whois indicates that the domain is blocked while hiding the name of the owner of the trademark in question. The service has two versions: AdultBlock and AdultBlock+. The initial service includes:
Protection for 1, 3, 5, or 10 years
Exact-match trademark blocking on TMCH-registered trademarks
Exact-match trademark blocking as well as any labels registered with TMCH
Blocking of equivalents in 20 languages: German, English, Belarussian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, Korean, Danish, Spanish, French, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Swedish, and Ukrainian.
Blocking of homoglyphs and other typographic variations
Opting for these online brand protection services simply and easily protects you from cybersquatting on more than 300 domains: our dedicated experts take care of the implementation of each of these products on your domain name portfolio. The Gandi Corporate Services team is available to provide more information about each of these products and guide you through registering your trademark with the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH).