Those interested in registering their trademarks before new top-level domains such as .guru, .shabaka, and .clothing go on sale should register with the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH).
This is according to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which said the TMCH came into effect on 26 March 2013.
ICANN plans to launch some 1,900 new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), it said in a press release issued on Wednesday, 4 December 2013.
This new system will allow for the registration of generic words, geographic names and brand names as top level names, such as .lawyer, .africa, .zulu, .google and .clothing.
Those that register with the Trademark Clearinghouse will be entitled to register their trade mark as a domain name during the so-called “Sunrise Period” for each new gTLD as it comes into effect.
This will give trademark owners a preferential registration right, letting them register their trade marks as a domain name before the general public are able put in their applications.
ICANN also announced the launch of the first batch of new gTLDs in the press release. The new domains and their sunrise periods are as follows:
|.shabaka||31 October 2013 – 29 December 2013|
|.ventures||26 November 2013 – 24 January 2013|
|.holdings||26 November 2013 – 24 January 2013|
|.clothing||26 November 2013 – 24 January 2013|
|.plumbing||26 November 2013 – 24 January 2013|
|.bike||26 November 2013 – 24 January 2013|
|.singles||26 November 2013 – 24 January 2013|
|.guru||26 November 2013 – 24 January 2013|
ICANN emphasised that registering with the TMCH is extremely important, otherwise you will not be able to participate in the Sunrise Period.
This applies to .africa, which ICANN said launches in March 2014, as well as .durban, .joburg and .capetown, which will launch thereafter.