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Trademark Clearinghouse deactivates TRex blocking product

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ICANN’s Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) recently announced they will be deactivating the TRex blocking product. For current subscriptions, the protection service will continue and domains will still be protected until the next expiration date.

Here’s our overview of the explainations that motivated this choice as well as the value of the coverage offered by these products.

Why TRex is being deactivated

The TRex blocking prduct was created by ICANN’s Trademark Clearinghouse in order to allow businesses to protect their brands on 43 TLDs (sometimes called domain extensions) when the first round of new gTLDs from ICANN first opened 10 years ago.

However, facing a less dynamic domain name market, it seems that interest in this blocking product has faded over time, which is what has led the Trademark Clearinghouse to stop the service.

They are not ruling out, though, the possibility of reactivating blocking products when a second wave of new gTLDs is released in order to mitigate the risk of cybersquatting made all the greater by competition from new releases.

From here, the Trademark Clearinghouse has announced they will be working on a broader portfolio of brand protection services that’s more effective, with more features.

Still-available blocking products

Despite deactivating TRex, three other blocking products, whose coverage is still strategic, are still available.

AdultBlock blocking product

AdultBlock lets you block registrations related to a brand name on 4 TLDs oriented towards the adult entertainmnt industry: .xxx, .adult, .porn, and .sex.

When you sign up for these products, domain names are not registered, but remain unregisterable in order to guarantee optimal control of the brand image.

The service exists in two versions: AdultBlock and AdultBlock+.

The initial AdultBlock offer includes:

  • Protection for 1, 3, 5, or 10 years
  • Protection on .xxx, .adult, .porn, and .sex, including for “premium” domains
  • Unblocking made impossible for the owner of the block as well as for a third party with an identical trademark registered with TMCH

The specifics of the AdultBlock+ plan:

  • Blocking identical matches to the trademark as well as labels registered with TMCH
  • Blocking homoglyphic and typographic variants, including in other languages supported by the registry (German, English Belorussian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, traditional and simplified Chinese, Danish, Spanish, French, Hunarian, Icelandic, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Montenegran, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Swedish, and Ukrainian)

Any of the following entities can subscribe to AdultBlock or AdultBlock+:

  • Trademarks registered with TMCH
  • Trademarks registered at the national or regional level but also registered with TMCH
  • Trademarks not registered by a trademark office but recognized by law or court decision
  • Company names
  • Names of famous people

DPML blocking product

The Domain Protected Marks List (or DPML) is a protection system offered by the registry Donuts. It ensures blocking registration of an identical trademark from among the registry’s 241 TLDs.

The service is available at two levels: DPML and DPML Plus.

The basic pack includes:

  • Protection for a period of 5 years
  • Blocking of an exact match trademark registered with TMCH
  • Protection of all new Donuts gTLDs, except “premium” domain names

Details of the DPML Plus option:

  • Protection for a period of 10 years
  • Blocking identical matches of a trademark registered with TMCH and 3 additional terms (typographic variations, or a trademark associated with a term describing goods or services) on the TLDs managed by Donuts
  • Extended protection of “premium” domain names
  • Unblocking made impossible by third parties owning an exact match trademark registered with TMCH
  • The option to block more than three additional terms at an additional cost

Uni EPS blocking product

Uni EPS is the mechanism used by the registry Uniregistry to block terms in its 10 TLDs, including:

  • .click
  • .country
  • .gift
  • .help
  • .hiphop
  • .hiv
  • .juegos
  • .link
  • .sexy
  • .tattoo

There are two versions of this service: Uni EPS and Uni EPS+

The basic plan includes:

  • Protection for a duration of 1, 3, 5, or 10 years
  • Exact match blocking on TMCH-registered trademarks
  • Protection on all Uniregistry domains, including “premium” domain names

Details of Uni EPS+ service:

  • Algorithmic protection that covers variations of the trademark in 8 different languages: German, English, Chinese, Cyrillic, Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese

Why use a blocking product?

Although the pace of new TLD releases isn’t as steady as in the years following the initial opening of new TLDs, the risk of cybersquatting is ever present in this strategic market. That’s why we see AdultBlock and DPML in particular as essential for comprehensive brand protection:

  • AdultBlock because it covers 4 pornographic TLDs, which are very susceptible to cybersquatting
  • DPML due to the large portfolio of domains covered (241 TLDs)

If you want to know more about blocking products, feel free to contact our Gandi Corporate Services team with any and all questions.