Domains Protected Marks List (DPML)

Effective prevention of cybersquatting for new top level domains

Since 2014, the company Donuts registry has been providing brand owners with an effective blocking service, to protect against domain squatting. Anybody who already has their brand registered with the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) can use this service. Furthermore, by entering a brand-related term in the Domains Protected Marks List (DPML), 238 new TLDs containing this brand term are also blocked following the sunrise phase. Each new top level domain has an obligatory sunrise phase which lasts for at least 30 days. This service therefore goes much further than the trademark claim service which is purely a notification service in the general availability phase.

The Donuts service represents a much cheaper alternative than the defensive registration of individual domains, although it does protect your company’s brand just as securely from unauthorised third-party registrations.

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Frequently asked questions relating to the DPML service

How long are brand domains protected by DPML?

Terms of between five and ten years can be selected for the DPML blocking service. This requires that the trademark is registered with the TMCH over this term. The Donuts registry reserves the right to cancel a DPML block for specific domains if the trademark concerned is no longer valid in the TMCH.

What happens if another brand owner also has rights to the domain name?

If another company has an identical trademark, it is able to have the existing DPML block removed and register a domain. However, this only works if the company can demonstrate it has a valid signed mark declaration (SMD) from the Trademark Clearing House.

Let’s take a look at an example: Delta Airlines blocks the term “delta”. However, Delta Faucets has also registered “delta” with the TMCH and is therefore able to register a Donuts gTLD including “delta” despite the DPML block. This case is defined as an “override” and is entirely in line with the purpose of the DPML, i.e. to block cybersquatters instead of legitimate brand owners.

How does TREx differ from DPML?

DPML and TREx both block unauthorised domain registrations by third parties. The Domains Protected Marks List is a Donuts registry service which currently has 238 TLDs, while TREx was established directly by the TMCH. TREx is currently available for more than 30 TLDs with plans for further expansion. A list of TREx TLDs is available here.

Which terms are not protected by the DPML?

Brand names with less than three letters:

Terms consisting of one or two characters are not permitted. Terms of three characters are only included if they match the precise wording of the brand.

Domains which are already registered:

If the domain has already been registered, it cannot be retrospectively blocked using DPML. Despite this, a brand owner can and should register their term with the DPML. Firstly, by doing so the owner blocks all other Donut’s gTLDs and, secondly, the block automatically applies to domains already registered by third parties as soon as these expire or are deleted.

Premium domains:

There are a limited number of more highly valued domains which are exempted from the DPML block. These domains generally involve generic terms.

What benefits does the DPML offer?

  • Flexibility: The DPML allows the blocking of a trademark in all gTLDs maintained by Donuts. However, where required, you can register the domain blocked by yourself at any time and use it for yourself.
  • Comprehensive protection: An entry in the DPML not only allows you to protect the exact wording of your brand, but terms which contain the brand as well (at least four letters).
  • Simplicity: A single entry in the Domains Protected Marks List blocks 238 top level domains.
  • ⦁ Cost effective: The cost of one entry in the DPML is far cheaper than the defensive registration of each individual domain.

How can the DPML service be booked?

The DPML service can be booked via an accredited Trademark Clearinghouse agent such as EBRAND services. Please contact us if you’re interested in a consultation.