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Legitimate domain name registrations may be deterred by the trademark claims service at the Trademark Clearinghouse, according to a report by consulting firm Analysis Group published by ICANN.
Established in March 2013, the Trademark Clearinghouse is a centralised trademark database that helps to protect rights under the generic top-level domain (gTLD) programme.
The claims service enables trademark owners to receive notifications of potentially infringing domain registrations for 90 days after the sunrise period of a new gTLD. The clearinghouse then offers an ongoing service after the 90 day period.
“Our findings are consistent with what one might expect to see if the claims service was helping to deter bad faith registrations that would otherwise be disputed,” said the report.
However, the results may also indicate that legitimate registrations are being deterred by the notifications, said the report, adding that the results should not be relied on to make policy recommendations.
The vast majority of registration attempts are not completed after receiving a notification (94% abandonment rate).
Although this is a high abandonment rate, Analysis Group explained that there were caveats, including that it couldn’t determine the abandonment rate that would occur if no notifications were sent.
“We therefore cannot determine whether claims service notifications are the direct cause for the abandonment rate that we observe,” it said.
Of the 1.8 million registration attempts that received a claims service notification, just 6.3% completed the registration process.
Of the nearly 114,000 completed registrations, only 0.3% resulted in domain disputes, as of December 2015.
ICANN, Trademark Clearinghouse, trademark, Analysis Group, domains, domain names, generic top-level domains, gTLD,