Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Upcoming Changes to Internet Domain Names and Your Trademark Rights

Companies commonly register for multiple domain names (or URLs) so that their customers can more easily find their website. Registering for multiple similar domain names can also preempt cybersquatters, entities that buy domain names in order to interfere with the rights of trademark holders.

Right now, most websites end in familiar domain name extensions such as .com, .net, or .org, or country extensions such as .cn for China, .us for United States, and so forth. But the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will be adding new extensions soon, to include terms such as .careers, .shoes, .builders, and many more.

The Internet is changing? You don't say!
Photo used under CC license from @LarsZi on Flickr.
To protect your business or nonprofit brand, consider registering for more domain names. You can get special advance access by providing proof of your trademark holdings to the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH). (The official website is; be conscious that, ironically, there are other, unrelated services with very similar names.) If you find out that someone has registered for a domain name that is "identical to or confusingly similar to" your trademark, you can contest the registration using the Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) system.

To read more about the upcoming changes, check out this article at the Harvard Business Review. If you have questions about how to protect your small business' or nonprofit's brand, contact Glickman Turley to discuss ways we may be able to help. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Government announces more rights for same-sex couples

Attorney General Eric Holder released a memorandum that grants same-sex couples even more of the rights accorded to opposite-sex married couples, and clarifies certain situations for states that do not recognize same-sex marriage.
Love not H8.
Photo used under CC license from @Fibonacci Blue on Flickr.

The new rights include:
- The option to refuse to testify against one's spouse in court
- Rights for spouses of federal prisoners, including special visitation, furlough, and communication
- Benefits for programs run by the Justice Department
- Death benefits for spouses of public officers
For a more detailed explanation of these rights, please read this article by SCOTUSblog.

The New York Times noted that, while this is a big step to reduce discrimination against LGBTQ people, it does not go far enough. The government has yet to announce that federal contractors cannot make hiring decisions on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

You can read the full text of Attorney General Holder's memorandum here (pdf).