Bart Mortelmans
bNamed.net
Bart Mortelmans of bNamed.net discusses the importance of SSL certificates, how brands are handling new gTLDs, and whether the TMCH has been a success

How has the SSL landscape changed? What does this mean for IP and website owners?

These days, browsers and search engines are frequently pushing visitors towards websites that support SSLs (secure socket layers) in an attempt to provide consumers with more trustworthy options. While this may not have a direct impact on IP protection, it is important information for any marketing department that wants to prove that its brand is safe. SSL certificates are becoming cheaper to obtain too, and Google has even said that it gives higher rankings to websites with SSL certificates in search results, making them an important tool for providing confidence in your website.

Extended validation (EV) certificates are also more accessible now and not too expensive for the average webshop. The EV certificate will give you a clear visual advantage with a green address bar that indicates your website can be trusted.

Have trademark holders come to terms with new gTLDs?

The confusion regarding new gTLDs has somewhat settled now even though it still isn’t completely clear what to expect from them. But everybody does agree it is too expensive to register your trademark under every possible TLD. So, some work is involved in following up on a TLD’s launch and handpicking those very few that are actually relevant for your product or service. It’s now possible to register your brand under an extension that reflects your core business, for instance, .insurance, .bank and .hosting, or to show where your office is located through the likes of .london, .nyc, or .paris.

Internet users tend to be conservative and continue to use what they are comfortable with. Almost everywhere in the world, the local country code TLDs are still the real must have for your domain name. Users stick to country codes they are familiar with, so Belgians will focus on .be, Chinese will visit .cn sites, Germans expect .de and the British public will look for a .co.uk. One of the only exceptions is the US, where they are more accustomed to .com names.

In those country code TLDs, changes happen slowly. With the launch of direct .uk registrations, many assumed that all .co.uk websites would quickly make the switch to the shorter .uk variant. Two years later, it turns out that hardly anybody has switched and most of the UK still assumes a website address will end in .co.uk.

The most important new gTLD will probably be .shop. This is an extension we recommend to everyone who sells something online. It’s an international, short, clear and easy-to-remember extension for which we’ve already received many applications.

Was Trademark Clearinghouse a success or a failure, in your opinion?

Based on the reasonably small number of trademarks applied for in the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH), it was clearly not the success they were hoping for. Regrettably, they have not been able to completely prevent abuse: domainers have been able to register generic words and fake the proof in order to get first dibs on new extensions during the domain registration sunrise period.

Nevertheless, TMCH was a necessary evil. For trademark holders it was a good thing for sunrise validation to be centralised, even though pricing hadn’t really lowered. Most registries were still happy charge higher fees to trademark holders, even though they had no real validation costs to carry. Despite this, centralisation did save lots of time and effort.

Interviews
The latest interviews from IPPro The Internet
Features
The latest features from IPPro The Internet
With the launch of a new anti-piracy HQ in Wales, CJCH Solicitors stands firmly against intellectual property infringement and the problems that go with it. Stephen Clarke and Tony Crampton explain
ECTA has ramped up its efforts to ensure that IP rights are heard in Brexit negotiations. But this isn’t all the trademark association has been up to in the past year, as Ruta Olmane explains
Join Our Newsletter

Sign up today and never
miss the latest news or an issue again

Subscribe now
William Dyer III and Bea Koempel-Thomas of Lee & Hayes examine TC Heartland v Kraft and the arguments put forward in support of each party
As Brexit negotiations begin, it is still unclear where trademarks fit in. But, with two years to get a good deal, the UK government needs to consider all aspects
Rights holders that want to protect their valuable intellectual property have to be willing to change
Alternative dispute resolution mechanisms are not being used to their full potential, according to IPzen’s Julia Cytrynbaum
India's copyright societies are subject to interim measures that boost transparency. DPS Parmar and Aniruddh Singh of LexOrbis report
Courts are wrestling with the legal definition of users of social networks. Nathalie Dreyfus examines how they have done so far
Country profiles
The latest country profiles from IPPro The Internet
While Indian fair use is not explicit, provisions exist for the fair dealing of copyright. Rohit Singh and Tina Canneth of Abu-Ghazeleh Intellectual Property delve deeper
An interpretation of the current events exception in Radosavljević is creative, say BDK Advokati's Bogdan Ivanišević and Marko Popović
IPPro Patents

Visit our sister site
for all the latest IP patents news and analysis

ippropatents.com
Yu-Li Tsai of Deep & Far examines how damages are calculated in patent infringement litigation
A recent amendment will make costly annulments a thing of the past. Gilberto Sanchez of SPECyF explains
New legislation in Turkey promises a swathe of trademark changes. Dr Cahit Suluk of Cahit Suluk Intellectual Property Law Firm explains
A trademark decision clarified ‘against the public order’ as an absolute ground for refusal. Sár and Partners – Danubia Patent & Law Office reports
Bogdan Ivanišević and Marko Popović of BDK Advokati review the recent squabble about copyright protection for ‘routinely created photos’
Alston & Bird recently expanded with a new office focusing on counselling Chinese companies on US intellectual property law. Yitai Hu explains what patent owners face when working across borders