The “sunrise” period for registering .health domain names opens on May 8, 2017. During this sunrise period, those with registered trademarks can claim their .health domain names before anyone else. The sunrise period helps not only to secure the trademark owner’s use of the domain name, but also helps to prevent others (such as cybersquatters) from registering the domain. However, to take advantage of the sunrise period, the trademark owner must first submit the trademark to ICANN’s Trademark Clearinghouse, which is a global repository for trademarks.
Having a registered trademark on ICANN’s Trademark Clearinghouse provides other benefits. During the first three months that registration is open to the general public, anyone attempting to register a .health domain name matching a trademark that is recorded in the Trademark Clearinghouse will receive a notification displaying the relevant mark information. If the notified party goes ahead and gets the domain name, the Trademark Clearinghouse will send a notice to those trademark holders with matching records in the Clearinghouse, informing them that someone has registered the domain name.
After the sunrise period on .health domains expires on July 7, 2017, there will be an “Industry Access” period from July 20th to November 30th during which time qualified health industry brands, organizations, and people will be able to purchase their .health domains before registration opens to the general public on December 5, 2017.
Acquiring and protecting domain names is just one of the many reasons to have a federally registered trademark. If you would like to learn more about applying for registration of a trademark or registering .health domain names, please feel free to contact us.