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Monday, February 24, 2014

Did the Trademark Clearinghouse Commit a Faux Pas?

Duane J. Higgins, ceo

I was roaming around the Internet the other day and discovered an interesting occurrence as far as potential trademark infringement goes. There is an organization called "The Clearinghouse" that has apparently functioned in some capacity since 1853. According to their website they are involved in financial payment systems and "The Clearing House payment systems clear and settle more than 65 million transactions with a total value of $2 trillion each day." The organization uses the domain name as their website address. 

So, as many know there is also (ICANNs) Trademark Clearinghouse which (according to their website) is designed to accomplish the following:

The Trademark Clearinghouse is a one-stop-solution for protecting your brand in the new gTLD era. This centralized database of verified trademarks connects to every of the more than 1,000 new TLDs that will be launching, to protect your brand...

You can of course read all of the information that your like on the TMCH website which they advertise is located at

So what caught my attention with the potential trademark infringement by the (ICANNs) Trademark Clearinghouse is that they have also purchased and are using the following domain name to promote their (TMCH) website:

So is this trademark infringement?  Is the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH)  infringing on the long established usage (trademark) of "The Clearinghouse" that processes financial payments?

The strongest argument is that the competing domain names (usages) are very similar. See below for  comparison:

I certainly don't have the answers as far as any real potential legal (infringement) issues go. 

Maybe it was just a slow day in the blogosphere for me.

However, I did find this interesting.

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