A new promotion from Donuts Inc. will enable brand owners to protect more trademarks at a lower annual cost for up to 10 years. The Domains Protected Marks List Plus (DPML Plus) program, available for subscription between October 1 and December 31, 2016, allows trademark owners to protect their marks and related terms across all of Donuts’ new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) at a fraction of what it would cost to defensively register the same terms. Available since 2013, the popular legacy DPML service is employed by thousands of subscribers, including Fortune 500 brands like Verizon, Target, Costco, Apple, HP, Microsoft and Amazon.
The standard DPML service works by “blocking” a string of characters from registration at the second level (the characters before the dot). The string may be an exact match of the mark or may contain the mark within it (the mark may be at the beginning, end or anywhere in the applied-for label, so long as it is contiguous).
The limited-time DPML Plus promotion enhances the current DPML program by allowing brand owners to widen protections, including, for the first time, common misspellings of their marks. Brand owners also are able to:
- Block their marks and mark-related terms from registration for an initial 10-year term.
- Block one exact match term and three additional strings (legacy DPML covers one string) that contain a mark or common misspellings of the mark (further “contains” or misspellings of terms beyond these three strings are available to block for an additional fee).
- Also for the first time, block a mark in premium second-level domains across all Donuts’ gTLDs.
DPML Plus blocks are not subject to overrides by other parties with the same trademark. DPML Plus subscribers may submit unlimited overrides of their own blocked terms (for no wholesale override fee) if they elect to register and use a previously blocked term.
The DPML program was developed in consultation with intellectual property experts and has been extremely well received by the trademark community as a mechanism that mitigates infringement risk with one simple step and at significant cost savings.
The company further disclosed that effective January 1, 2017, the price of its standard DPML service will be increased in order to better align the service’s benefits with its marketplace value. Existing DPML subscribers can renew their subscriptions at current pricing before January 1.
DPML applications may be submitted here. More information is available via the company’s DPML Plus Overview and FAQs.
Guest blog by Mason Cole
VP Communications & Industry Relations – Donuts Inc.