Thursday , June 8 2023

Unstoppable Domains takes its blockchain trademark campaign to Canada

Company wants to trademark terms like blockchain and crypto for domain name registration.

The word Trademarks on a dark blue green background with a stylized R symbol

Unstoppable Domains, a company that offers alt-root domain names based on blockchain technology, has filed 21 trademark applications in Canada covering its top level domains and the Unstoppable brand. The company also recently filed for a U.S. trademark for the term blockchain, claiming priority to its Canadian trademark application. The applications cover domain registration services.

The company has already tried to register terms like crypto, doge, nft, and blockchain, along with each version with a dot in front of it, with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. But the USPTO doesn’t grant trademarks for words functioning as top level domains.

Unstoppable’s Canadian trademark filings last month include 888, bitcoin, blockchain, coin, crypto, dao, nft, wallet, x, zil, along with each of these with a dot in front of them. It also applied for a trademark for Unstoppable.

I can think of two reasons Unstoppable Domains is filing these trademarks. One, it wants to prevent other companies from creating alt-root domains that match its own. Alt-root domains that operate outside of the main DNS are unregulated, so there’s nothing stopping another company from starting a domain that ends in one of these extensions that Unstoppable is developing.

Second, it may be part of a futile effort to prevent other companies from applying for these terms in “real” top level domains in the future. Companies tried to front run terms ahead of the 2012 new top level domain expansion round. The effort failed.

The reality is that many companies will likely to apply for some of these same terms in the next ICANN expansion round. They will sell for a lot of money. Once these enter into the real root, it will create name collisions with the alt-root domains Unstoppable has created.

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About Andrew Allemann

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