Last week was a big one for domain news. From AdWeek to The Guardian it seemed like everyone had an opinion on the .Sucks domain and its possible effect on brands and businesses. We were thinking about it too -- will the domain stay true to its mission to become a place where customers can vent? Time will tell.
In the future one aspect of brand management and trademark protection will be making sure that the ability to exploit a trademark via a TLD is explicitly dealt with in a trademark license agreement. Specifically, in the Legal Rights decision handed down in the decision over the proposed New TLD ".Delmonte" the issue before the panel was whether the Respondent/Licensee was allowed to own and operate a .Delmonte TLD under the terms of the trademark license.
The Trademark Clearinghouse is open for brand owners and mark holders to register their trademarks and take advantage of the Rights Protection Mechanisms (RPMs) offered by ICANN and the individual registries that are soon to come online.