The Internet is fast becoming an increasingly important, and sometimes primary, vehicle for our clients’ brand presence. As such, Winterfeldt IP Group’s brand protection services do not end with the brick and mortar world, but extend to the online space.
An organization’s Internet domain names - the string of characters typed in a Web browser to arrive at a website - can be some of their most important assets. Winterfeldt IP Group assists clients with acquiring and maintaining the domain names needed to secure their online presence, and with managing their domain name portfolios. We also develop domain name enforcement strategies to uncover and address instances of domain name infringement (third-party registration of domain names that incorporate clients’ trademarks in an unauthorized manner), and take action, including administrative proceedings such as the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP), to recover infringing domain names quickly and economically. We prepare strategies for use of the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH), a rights protection mechanism developed in connection with the new generic top-level domain (gTLD) program, and register and maintain clients’ trademarks in the TMCH as an approved TMCH agent. We perform periodic audits of our clients’ domain name portfolios to ensure they are right-sized for clients’ business needs.
(gTLD) program, and register and maintain clients’ trademarks in the TMCH as an approved TMCH agent. We perform periodic audits of our clients’ domain name portfolios to ensure they are right-sized for clients’ business needs.
Winterfeldt IP Group’s Internet experience includes extensive knowledge of the new gTLD program, a program by which, during a 2012 application round, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) offered organizations an opportunity to run their own Internet registries (portion of an Internet domain name after the “dot”). Winterfeldt IP Group personnel participated in drafting and prosecuting over 200 new gTLD applications, representing over 10% of the applicant pool, with a primary focus on assisting brand owners seeking to obtain their own Internet extensions for a fully customizable web address. Our practice personnel also participated in representing both applicants and objectors approximately 50 new gTLD objection proceedings. Since the application period, Winterfeldt IP Group personnel have seen many new gTLDs through delegation (being added to the technical infrastructure of the Internet), along the way managing contracting and compliance processes and providing guidance on proactive brand-related uses of new gTLDs. As ICANN has announced it will offer additional new gTLD application opportunities in the coming years, we are now assisting clients with developing strategies for future application rounds, and working closely on policy work currently ongoing at ICANN leading to next rounds.
As Winterfeldt IP Group personnel have extensive experience with ICANN compliance matters, we also assist contracted parties (Internet registries and registrars) with strategies to avoid ICANN compliance inquiries and in resolving them when complaints arise.