Trademark Clearinghouse FAQs

General | Processes | Registries & Registrars | Rights Holders


General

1.1 What is the Trademark Clearinghouse?

The Trademark Clearinghouse is a global repository for trademark data, the first of its kind in the domain name space. Designed to meet global needs for the domain name system (DNS), the Trademark Clearinghouse providers will: (i) verify trademark data from multiple global regions; and (ii) maintain a database with the verified trademark records.

The verified data in the Trademark Clearinghouse will be used to support both Trademark Claims and Sunrise Services, required in all new gTLDs. The Clearinghouse will play an important role in the New gTLD Program and in the ongoing protection of trademark rights.

1.2 Has ICANN authorized specific service providers?

Currently, Deloitte is the only provider authorized to perform trademark verification services for the Trademark Clearinghouse. The Trademark Clearinghouse works with a number of agents. View agents »

1.3 What are Trademark Claims and Sunrise Services?

Sunrise services allow trademark holders an advance opportunity to register domain names corresponding to their marks before names are generally available to the public. New gTLD registries are required to offer a Sunrise period of at least 30 days.

The Trademark Claims period follows the Sunrise period and runs for at least the first 90 days of an initial operating period of general registration. During the Trademark Claims period, anyone attempting to register a domain name matching a mark that is recorded in the Trademark Clearinghouse will receive a notification displaying the relevant mark information.

If the notified party goes ahead and registers the domain name, the Trademark Clearinghouse will send a notice to those trademark holders with matching records in the Clearinghouse, informing them that someone has registered the domain name.

1.4 What languages will be serviced in Trademark Clearinghouse?

The Trademark Clearinghouse is a global database and will accept trademark data from all over the world, supporting users in multiple languages. Learn more »

1.5 Is there a cost to use the Trademark Clearinghouse?

Yes. The parties using the services are responsible for paying for their costs. For example, trademark holders will pay for verification of data by the Clearinghouse. Learn more ».

Registries or others using the data to support Sunrise and Trademark Claims services will also pay fees for this use.

1.6 If I am having problems with my Trademark Clearinghouse account, where do I go?

Access customer support here.

1.7 What will the Trademark Claims notice that a registrant receives say?

View a Sample Notice [PDF, 163 KB].


Processes

2.1 How do I get access to the Trademark Clearinghouse?

Submit a Trademark to the Clearinghouse »

Registries and Registrars will be required to connect with the Trademark Clearinghouse in order to provide Sunrise and Claims services. Learn more »

2.2 What information do I need to provide when registering my mark in the Clearinghouse?

You will need to provide information about yourself and the trademark holder if that is someone other than you. This will include your contact information as well as information stating whether you are the trademark holder, someone representing the trademark holder, such as a law firm, or someone to whom the trademark has been licensed or assigned.

You will need to provide the trademark information, the class of goods or services, the jurisdiction where the trademark is registered, and other relevant information according to the type of trademark being submitted. If you plan to use the Clearinghouse records to register names in new gTLD Sunrise periods, you will need to submit proof of use for the trademark.

2.3 What is proof of use?

Proof of use allows you to participate in registry Sunrise periods. For verification of proof of use you must submit: A declaration stating that the trademark is indeed being used as you say it is. A sample, such as an advertisement, a branded product, or some other example showing the mark in use.

2.4 Is proof of use required for admission into the Clearinghouse?

No. However, proof of use is required if you wish to use the Clearinghouse record as a basis to register domain names during a Sunrise period. Rights holders may submit proof of use at the time they initially record their rights data in the Clearinghouse, or at a later time.

2.5 Does putting my trademark in the Clearinghouse mean that I automatically get my trademark as a domain name in all new gTLDs?

No. The Clearinghouse verifies and maintains information from many jurisdictions and classes of goods or services, and many parties may have legitimate rights in the same trademark. Allocation of domain names in a particular TLD occurs according to the registry policies for that TLD.

2.6 Will different variations of my trademark be protected?

The domain names associated with a Clearinghouse record are generated according to a defined set of matching rules. When you submit your information to the Clearinghouse, part of your file will consist of the different domain names corresponding to that record.

Up to 10 domain names corresponding to one trademark record are included in the initial cost of verification by the Clearinghouse. If there are more than 10 domain names corresponding to the record, you can pay an extra fee to have these additional names associated with the record. Read the Explanatory Memo on Matching Rules [PDF, 194 KB].

2.7 Can I add more labels to my TMCH record?

Yes, labels may be added to an existing TMCH record based on a UDRP or Court determination. Learn More »


Registries and Registrars

3.1 How do I access the Trademark Clearinghouse database?

Access information for the Trademark Clearinghouse web client is provided below.

A "registration token" will be provided during the onboarding process. Please note that each registration token is valid for the TLD that is the subject of the Registry Agreement (RA). Download user manuals »

3.2 I have lost my password for my TMCH account, how can I retrieve it?

You can retrieve your password though the "I forgot my password" link on the TMDB login web page.

3.3 What is a "Sunrise Period?"

A "Sunrise Period" is a period of at least 30 days during which trademark holders have an advance opportunity to register domain names corresponding to their marks before names are generally available to the public.

3.4 What is a "Claims Period?"

The Trademark Claims Period follows the Sunrise Period and runs for at least the first 90 days of a general registration. During the Trademark Claims Period, anyone attempting to register a domain name matching a mark that is recorded in the Trademark Clearinghouse will receive a notification displaying the relevant mark information.

If the notified party goes ahead and registers the domain name, the Trademark Clearinghouse will send a notice to those trademark holders with matching records in the Clearinghouse, informing them that someone has registered the domain name.

3.5 How do I access the test environment for Sunrise and Claims (the TMCH OT&E)?

To obtain access to the TMCH OT&E, read the Trademark Clearinghouse Registration and Production Platform Access Process Document found here.

3.6 How do I pay my Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) fees?

As described in Section 6.4 of the Registration Agreement (RA), there are two fees associated with the TMCH that a Registry will be responsible for paying. The first is the RPM Access Fee. It is a fixed, flat fee that will be invoiced by ICANN on the effective date of the RA. The payment is to be paid to a specific account designated by ICANN within 30 days of the invoice date. The second fee is the RPM Registration fee (a transactional fee per actual domain name registered for Sunrise & Claims services) that ICANN will invoice the Registry for on a quarterly basis. Both fees are pass-through, meaning that ICANN invoices and collects and then pays to IBM.

3.7 What is an SMD file?

A Signed Mark Data (SMD) file is a token demonstrating that minimum eligibility requirements for Sunrise have been verified by the Clearinghouse. The SMD can be used by the Trademark holder to apply for a Domain Name during the sunrise period.

3.8 How do I reach IBM for support?

You may contact IBM for support via email at ICANNSD@nl.ibm.com or phone at + 32 2 711 8604 or + 48 7 1760 8509.

3.9 What resources should I access for additional information and/or assistance?

You can download the TMCH User Manuals or view the list of upcoming ICANN webinars here.

3.10 What are webinars?

A webinar is a media presentation distributed over the Internet. You can watch recorded webinars and get information on upcoming webinars here.

3.11 Do I need to register in order to attend a webinar?

No.

3.12 Do I have unlimited access to the Sunrise and Claims production and test platforms?

There is a 10 minute timeout on the TMCH web client.

3.13 How can I train my staff to use the Sunrise and Claims platforms?

User Manuals for both Registries and Registrars are located here.

3.14 Are there any technical requirements for using the TMCH web client?

The TMCH web client supports Internet Explorer 7.x and Internet Explorer 8.x. Firefox is also supported, however we are only able to certify the version of Firefox that is current at the time of release of the TMCH web client.

3.15 What do I do if I cannot access the production platform?

You can go to the TMCH landing page and check to see if there are any connectivity problems. If no information is displayed, you can submit an incident/help request using the "Help" link.

3.16 What do I do if I cannot access the test platform?

You can go to the TMCH landing page and check to see if there are any connectivity problems. If no information is displayed, you can submit an incident/help request using the "Help" link.

3.17 Where can I find error definitions for the TMCH system?

Error definitions for the TMCH system are available in the Trademark Clearinghouse User Manuals. Get TMCH manuals »

3.18 Where can I find user documentation and technical descriptions?

Get TMCH manuals »

Technical specifications can be found here:

3.19 How can I check the status of a support request submitted to IBM?

You will receive a "ticket number" when you email or call IBM for support. To check the status of your request, send an email requesting status along with the ticket number to ICANNSD@nl.ibm.com or phone + 32 2 711 8604 or + 48 7 1760 8509.

3.20 How can I check the status of a Service Request submitted to Deloitte?

Deloitte does not have a way to check on the status of a service request.

3.21 How can I check the status of a Service Request submitted to ICANN?

If you are a portal user, please log into the Customer Service Center (CSC) portal with your user name and password; you can view the status of any open case you may have with ICANN. Non-portal users please respond directly using the email you received when reporting the issue and request a status update. "Stand-alone" emails sent to newgtld@icann.org are also acceptable but will take longer for the CSC to respond to as the case number will have to be located.

3.22 Where can I find archived webinars?

Watch recorded webinars »

3.23 How can I get access to the TMCH production platform for my other TLDs once I have completed testing and gained access to the TMCH production platform for my first TLD?

A new Registration Token will be provided in the Welcome Package for the TLD after the Registry Agreement is signed for any additional TLD(s).

3.24 Where can I find sample SMD files to use to test my implementation?

View sample SMD files. An overview document is also available at that same location.


Rights Holders

4.1 What trademarks are eligible for entry into the Clearinghouse?

Four types of marks are eligible for inclusion in the Clearinghouse:

  • Nationally or regionally registered word marks from all jurisdictions
  • Word marks that have been validated through a court of law or other judicial proceeding
  • Word marks protected by a statute or treaty in effect at the time the mark is submitted to the Clearinghouse for inclusion
  • Other marks that constitute intellectual property may be recorded in the Clearinghouse by arrangement with a registry

4.2 If two different rights holders have the same trademark in two different countries, then how does the Clearinghouse decide between them?

The Clearinghouse is a repository of data only, and trademarks from many jurisdictions can coexist in the Clearinghouse. Clearinghouse processes are designed to confirm the validity of data, not to make determinations on the substance or scope of rights held by a particular party.

4.3 I have applied for a trademark, can I include it in the Trademark Clearinghouse?

No. Protections afforded to trademark registrations do not extend to applications for registrations, marks within any opposition period or registered marks that were the subject of successful invalidation, cancellation or rectification proceedings.

4.4 Can I add more labels to my TMCH record?

Yes, labels may be added to an existing TMCH record based on a UDRP or Court determination. Learn more »