The Trademark Registry Exchange (‘TREx’) is a new service developed by the Trademark Clearinghouse, which provides trademark holders with an additional protection layer for unregistered domain names, matching their labels, across a multitude of TLDs, by restricting the registration of these domain names in the general availability phase. Effectively preventing third party registration of domains and protecting brands. For example, in absa.africa – absa is the label and absa.africa is the domain name. Therefore the TREx service will protect all absa-related domain names that are covered in the initial bundle.
One major benefit of the TREx protection is that protecting the company’s brand is far cheaper than defensively registering each domain. TREx also saves them of the hassle of yearly domain renewals and eliminates the risk of a domain not being renewed and then ultimately being lost.
The initial bundle of TREx will cover a total of 40 domains, including the 3 South African gTLDs: .capetown, .joburg and .durban. As well as the RyCE domains: .koeln, .tirol, .wien, .cologne. The full list of covered domains can be found here.
The Service is available only for sunrise eligible TMCH trademark records registered through a TMCH agent. The coverage however will grow in phases, as the TMCH will continue to upgrade the reach of the TREx annually by adding additional TLD’s. These will not be limited to new gTLDs, but will also include ccTLDs and legacy TLDs.
This system is designed to limit the exposure of a trademarked name that is still generally available in a specific set of TLD’s. It does not, however, cover names that were previously registered before the activation of TREx. Reserved and premium names are also not covered.