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ICANN: Sunrise Periods and Trademark Claims

July 1, 2014

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has proceeded with its project of increasing internet domain names endings. By way of background, this project was approved back in 2012 when there were only 22 domain name endings (such as .org; .net; .com) and around 250 country code endings. The main purpose of this project is to significantly expand Top-Level Domains (TLDs) to allow companies and even cities to turn their own brands into domain name extensions.
Applications for new internet domain name endings are processed in “batches” and not on a “first in, first served” basis. Currently, trademark applications are open to examination for firms wishing to create unique Top-level-domains for their websites. A sunrise claim period is required for the examination process after which the TLD may be allowed. 
However, For the TLD to go through the sunshine period, the trademark should be available and certified by the Trademark Clearinghouse as it allows the owner to obtain the exact domain name as his trademark, entitles the entity to take corrective measures against any party seeking a registration name identical to their trademark within 90 days from the TLD acceptance.