[gnso-rpm-wg] TMCH Blog

J. Scott Evans jsevans at adobe.com
Thu Feb 2 17:27:44 UTC 2017

The same gaming goes on in the DNS and has in every expansion since 2000. I hear no calls to limit top level domains to the original TLDs due to the gaming and fraud that has and continues to take place.

J. Scott Evans | Associate General Counsel - Trademarks, Copyright, Domains & Marketing |


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San Jose, CA 95110
408.536.5336 (tel), 408.709.6162 (cell)
jsevans at adobe.com<mailto:jsevans at adobe.com>


From: <gnso-rpm-wg-bounces at icann.org<mailto:gnso-rpm-wg-bounces at icann.org>> on behalf of Mike Rodenbaugh <mike at rodenbaugh.com<mailto:mike at rodenbaugh.com>>
Date: Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 9:11 AM
To: "Marc H. Trachtenberg" <trachtenbergm at gtlaw.com<mailto:trachtenbergm at gtlaw.com>>
Cc: "David A. Tait" <gnso-rpm-wg at icann.org<mailto:gnso-rpm-wg at icann.org>>
Subject: Re: [gnso-rpm-wg] TMCH Blog

We all knew full well that this sort of thing was going to happen with the TMCH, it was widely discussed during development.  Thus it was decided to require at least nominal proof of use, even if the trademark office hadn't required it.  But still we knew that could be gamed as well.

The ultimate question is whether the benefit to internet users and trademark owners has outweighed the detriment to domain investors from this sort of gaming.  Personally I think that answer is fairly clear, that it has done so, and would be a lot more clear if the TMCH was less expensive, better publicized to trademark owners, and we developed some further controls against this sort of gaming.  For example, we could design a requirement that TMCH rights do not apply to entirely inapposite trademarks.  If "THE" is registered for pizza, then the.pizza is somewhat fair, the.shop less so but probably still fair, but the.car -- no way.

Mike Rodenbaugh
tel/fax:  +1.415.738.8087

On Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 8:09 AM, <trachtenbergm at gtlaw.com<mailto:trachtenbergm at gtlaw.com>> wrote:
There is no system or program in the world that cannot be, and is not, gamed.  That does not mean that the system or program has no value or that there is necessarily a better system or program.  The risk of gaming is inherent in any system.  That said, obviously the goal for any system or program should be to minimize the risk of gaming to the extent possible without sacrificing the goal and benefits of the system or program.

Best regards,

Marc H. Trachtenberg
Greenberg Traurig, LLP | 77 West Wacker Drive | Suite 3100 | Chicago, IL 60601
Tel 312.456.1020<tel:(312)%20456-1020>
Mobile 773.677.3305<tel:(773)%20677-3305>
trachtenbergm at gtlaw.com<mailto:trachtenbergm at gtlaw.com> | www.gtlaw.com<http://www.gtlaw.com/>

[Greenberg Traurig]

From:gnso-rpm-wg-bounces at icann.org<mailto:gnso-rpm-wg-bounces at icann.org> [mailto:gnso-rpm-wg-bounces at icann.org<mailto:gnso-rpm-wg-bounces at icann.org>] On Behalf Of Jonathan Frost
Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2017 10:03 AM
To: 'Phil Corwin'; 'Jon Nevett'; 'gnso-rpm-wg'
Subject: Re: [gnso-rpm-wg] TMCH Blog

These TMCH gaming issues have been well documented all the way back to 2014 .http://domainnamewire.com/2014/02/10/how-common-words-like-pizza-money-and-shopping-ended-up-in-the-trademark-clearinghouse-for-new-tlds/<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__domainnamewire.com_2014_02_10_how-2Dcommon-2Dwords-2Dlike-2Dpizza-2Dmoney-2Dand-2Dshopping-2Dended-2Dup-2Din-2Dthe-2Dtrademark-2Dclearinghouse-2Dfor-2Dnew-2Dtlds_&d=DwMFaQ&c=2s2mvbfY0UoSKkl6_Ol9wg&r=L7MB7eHT-UoCXD4iA3c7Sm3JrKXt7T1dG3NjBzCxm1c&m=OKMkQrneYX-CtA7AtUlUoYBf_3P3FyXg4Eiefy4GzSM&s=x78nQ0uAUek7apfpDY1TqfvruWlFiDa2HVbePuVZxJM&e=>

Gaming the TMCH is as easy as starting an ecommerce store on a template and selling various products like t-shirts and pens with the arbitrary use of a common/valuable term (e.g.. pizza pen shop). This allows registration of the trademark for the term in any number of jurisdictions and subsequent registration in the TMCH.

Jonathan Frost
General Counsel
Telephone: (+1)877-707-5752<tel:(877)%20707-5752>
100 SE 3rd Avenue, #1310
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33394
E-Mail: jonathan at get.club<mailto:jonathan at get.club>
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From:gnso-rpm-wg-bounces at icann.org<mailto:gnso-rpm-wg-bounces at icann.org> [mailto:gnso-rpm-wg-bounces at icann.org] On Behalf Of Phil Corwin
Sent: Thursday, February 2, 2017 9:13 AM
To: Jon Nevett <jon at donuts.email<mailto:jon at donuts.email>>; gnso-rpm-wg <gnso-rpm-wg at icann.org<mailto:gnso-rpm-wg at icann.org>>
Subject: Re: [gnso-rpm-wg] TMCH Blog

I’m tempted to say that is one of *** craziest things I’ve ever seen, but if I use *** word *** I might be cited for infringement or have to pay a licensing fee ;-)

Seriously, it would be interesting to know in what jurisdiction the trademark was granted in and whether they professed to demonstrate use in commerce.

Also seems to be an example of a situation where everyone in general but no one in particular has an incentive to challenge the acceptance of the mark by the TMCH.

Philip S. Corwin, Founding Principal
Virtualaw LLC
1155 F Street, NW
Suite 1050
Washington, DC 20004

Twitter: @VlawDC

"Luck is the residue of design" -- Branch Rickey

From:gnso-rpm-wg-bounces at icann.org<mailto:gnso-rpm-wg-bounces at icann.org> [mailto:gnso-rpm-wg-bounces at icann.org] On Behalf Of Jon Nevett
Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2017 8:55 AM
To: gnso-rpm-wg
Subject: [gnso-rpm-wg] TMCH Blog

FYI -- for those who haven't seen this blog:


The Trademark ClearingHouse Worked So Well One Company Got 24 new gTLD using The Famous Trademark “The”

February 1, 2017 by Michael Berkens<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.thedomains.com_author_michael-2Dberkens_&d=DwMFaQ&c=2s2mvbfY0UoSKkl6_Ol9wg&r=L7MB7eHT-UoCXD4iA3c7Sm3JrKXt7T1dG3NjBzCxm1c&m=OKMkQrneYX-CtA7AtUlUoYBf_3P3FyXg4Eiefy4GzSM&s=_Zqz61CYVCc8PqDLQ2xnXrlX1SmmCe8hTS1y1rXe8Mw&e=> 5 Comments<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.thedomains.com_2017_02_01_the-2Dtrademark-2Dclearinghouse-2Dworked-2Dso-2Dwell-2Done-2Dcompany-2Dgot-2D24-2Dnew-2Dgtld-2Dusing-2Dthe-2Dfamous-2Dtrademark-2Dthe_-23comments&d=DwMFaQ&c=2s2mvbfY0UoSKkl6_Ol9wg&r=L7MB7eHT-UoCXD4iA3c7Sm3JrKXt7T1dG3NjBzCxm1c&m=OKMkQrneYX-CtA7AtUlUoYBf_3P3FyXg4Eiefy4GzSM&s=4GuL5r91EB1NAAQIMt4U6HlXbtcnf6Zk4MT_p2uUFsw&e=>
The Trademark ClearingHouse (TMCH)<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.trademark-2Dclearinghouse.com_&d=DwMFaQ&c=2s2mvbfY0UoSKkl6_Ol9wg&r=L7MB7eHT-UoCXD4iA3c7Sm3JrKXt7T1dG3NjBzCxm1c&m=OKMkQrneYX-CtA7AtUlUoYBf_3P3FyXg4Eiefy4GzSM&s=L6nXIBZdT5Ra1HDLX1UG2kNvYiO9ouzfW0nN7ktXMF4&e=> which was set up/ contracted by ICANN to protect those famous worldwide brand names from abuse by those nasty domain name squatters resulted in a whole new industry.
Those playing the TMCH for their own benefit to get first jump at new gTLD domain names to get registered in Sunrise ahead of all other under common words like “the”
Actually there maybe no better example than those domain names obtained on the world-famous trademarks as of the word”the”,  which is the most used word in the English language<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__en.wikipedia.org_wiki_Most-5Fcommon-5Fwords-5Fin-5FEnglish&d=DwMFaQ&c=2s2mvbfY0UoSKkl6_Ol9wg&r=L7MB7eHT-UoCXD4iA3c7Sm3JrKXt7T1dG3NjBzCxm1c&m=OKMkQrneYX-CtA7AtUlUoYBf_3P3FyXg4Eiefy4GzSM&s=EjYqEPZAlywUCDflt_vUfsaGQkKtx8s-Q8_tzAE5y4w&e=>.
The world-famous trademark for the word “the” was obtained by Goallover Limited of London who according to DomainTools.com owns an amazing amount of domain names approaching nearly 100, but was able to get all of the following new gTLD’s using their globally well-known trademark on the word “the” under the ICANN trademark clearinghouse rules which  allows them to obtain the domain names ahead of all other applicants.
Of course the company could have had obtained even more “the” new gTLD domain names in Sunrise but apparently did not apply for more.
Somehow the company doesn’t appear to own the domain name The.Com
For all Trademark Holders its nice to know the world is a safer place:

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