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Protect Your  Brand Name Online with TMCH

Protect Your Brand Name Online with TMCH

As internet use broadens and more than ever local companies withing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Gulf and across the middle east brought their businesses online since the COVID-19 epidemic, the accessibility of domain names with definitive domain endings like .com quickly decreased. To confront the inevitable oversupply of the market for domain names, ICANN (the organisation that manages and regulates domain name delegation on the internet worldwide) has been consistently introducing hundreds or thousands of new, generic domain endings (also known as gTLDs, for “generic top-level domains”) since year 2013, giving all local businesses the ability to target their markets more precisely within the Gulf and Middle East region.

PROTECT YOUR BRAND NAME ONLINE WITH TMCH

Since ICAN set in motion of these new domains made the safeguarding of intellectual property back at the heart of our local debates:

ICANN (the organisation that manages and regulates domain name delegation on the internet worldwide)

since year 2013, giving all local businesses the ability to target their markets more precisely within the Gulf and Middle East region.

As internet use broadens and more than ever local companies withing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Gulf and across the middle east

Since ICAN set in motion of these new domains made the safeguarding of intellectual property back at the heart of our local debates: how can one protect their trademarks locally in Saudi Arabia, Gulf or Middle East and internationally from that cybersquatting with such a comprehensive number of domain name endings available? ICANN swiftly responded by creating the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH), a huge database in which Saudi and Gulf region trademark owners can register their trademarks and thereby gain full access to a priority registration phase across the Middle East when this new domain endings are launched.

As part of K®️ Kenzie of Saudi Gulf small- and large-sized local business solutions, we let all our Saudi, Gulf and Middle East customers entrust K®️ Kenzie of Saudi with registering your local and international trademark with TMCH to benefit of its protections and allow our local Saudi, Middle East customers to focus on what is crucial: which is your trademark strategy.

To understand the urgency to protect your domain names, it is imperative for you to understand what capacity they play. A domain name is the internet address used by online users to access a website. Just like home or business address i.e., where people can find your business, in a way, it is the front window of your online shop, and it advances your business’s credibility and its image online globally. But a domain name is also a central hub for all your digital services and social media networks, like for instance, email addresses. So, it brings together simultaneously all aspects of our local and Middle East online business.

To understand the urgency to protect your domain names, it is imperative for you to understand what capacity they play. A domain name is the internet address used by online users to access a website. Just like home or business address i.e., where people can find your business, in a way, it is the front window of your online shop, and it advances your business’s credibility and its image online globally. But a domain name is also a central hub for all your digital services and social media networks, like for instance, email addresses. So, it brings together simultaneously all aspects of our local and Middle East online business.

Simultaneously, absent restrictions implemented by the registries, the registration of domain names is open globally to anyone and everyone but remember the age restrictions in some countries. Starting at just a few Riyals, anyone is free to register the domain name of their choosing at the point of registration, whether it is the intellectual property of someone else or not locally or in intentionally, so long as the domain name is available. This makes domain names easy prey for cybercriminals who want to make a profit off a well-known local or international brand through such malicious activities, and consequentially, tarnish our local and international brand’s image.

That is one of the reasons why you should consider domain names, just like your local and international brand name and extent, as strategic intellectual property assets that you need to protect, particularly using the TMCH service to register your brand name.

Even today in online business world, dozens of new domain endings are set to be released on the market day in day out, to which will most certainly be added more in a future new gTLD program in the coming years, posing a real threat to local and international businesses. The main virtue of registering a trademark with the TMCH is that it will protect you from this local and international threat by guaranteeing priority access for registering the corresponding domain name of your choice or brand.

Habitually, with each launch of a new domain ending, there are three stages:

A mandatory, 30-day minimum stage called “Sunrise,” during which only those who have registered a trademark with the TMCH can register a domain name at this stage

A “Land rush” or “Early Access Period (EAP)” stage that can follow distinct rules depending on the registry (including different eligibility criteria, first come first served registration vs. based on assessing applications, or even based on auctions among all the local requestors), during which it is by and largely possible to register a domain name in priority, for a higher fee

A final “all in all availability” stage of starting on the “Go-Live” date, during which domain names can be registered at their standard price with standard prerequisite

By registering your trademark with the TMCH, then registering the correlating domain name during the Sunrise release stage for each new domain ending, you can protect yourself from cybersquatting on that domain before it becomes available to the local public.

Additional advantage of registering a trademark with the TMCH is that it lets you gain from Trademark Claims. This intelligence system, allowed by the rules by ICANN, it acts like an intelligence monitoring service on all new generic domain endings (gTLDs). If a third party registers a domain name exactly matching your trademark, you will be automatically notified, letting you take the obligatory measures to protect yourself and local brand from cybersquatting. Since the biggening of August 2020, this intelligence alerting system has been extended to registrations of .com domains using trademarks protected by the TMCH.

Furthermore, throughout new domain launch stages (besides Sunrise) and for 90 days following the Go-Live date, if a third party tries to register a domain name that matches your trademark, they will be alerted before completing the process that our local brand holds the rights to that trademark. Ignoring and continuing to choose and proceed with registration despite their advanced warning can help make the case that the individual was acting in bad faith and intention, should you have to go through extra-judiciary trademark proceedings to reclaim the domain name then this means you might win fair and square.

Opting in for the TMCH intelligence alert service, then, it means actively protecting your trademarks online.

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Registering your trademark with TMCH is an administrative action that is available to:

  • Trademarks registered at a national or regional level
  • Trademarks validated by a local court ruling
  • Trademarks protected by a local law or treaty

As part of K®️ Kenzie of Saudi Gulf dedicated small to large sized businesses solution within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Gulf and across the Middle East region, our dedicated trademarks team takes care of everything: you provide us all the documents linked to your ownership of the local Saudi or international trademark and we will take care of the trademark registration procedure with Trademark Clearinghouse—a simplified and streamline process that lets you focus on the essentials of your Saudi Arabian business: your trademark strategy is handled with care and attention throughout the vetting and processing stage.