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Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH)

News & Views

The Qualified Launch Program (QLP) Addendum is available for new gTLD registry operators. The QLP Addendum allows a registry operator to register up to 100 domain names to third parties prior to the Sunrise Period for purposes of promoting the TLD, under certain conditions.

View the Qualified Launch Program Addendum [PDF, 63 KB]

Understanding the Trademark Clearinghouse


The New generic Top-Level Domain (New gTLD) Program promises to greatly expand the domain name system (DNS). Working with Intellectual Property experts and various community stakeholders, ICANN developed mechanisms that enable trademark holders to protect their rights during the DNS expansion. The Trademark Clearinghouse mechanism functions by authenticating information from rights holders and providing this information to registries and registrars. Benefits of registering a trademark with the Clearinghouse include access to Sunrise registration with new gTLD registries and notification from the Clearinghouse when a domain matching your trademark has been registered.

Rights Protections

Sunrise Services Icon

Sunrise Services

Priority access for Rights Holders to request domain names associated with trademark(s).


Diagram showing the Simplified Sunrise Process


Trademark Claims Service Icon

Trademark Claims Service

Notification to a Rights Holder after registration, allowing for immediate action if the domain registered is infringing rights.


Diagram showing the Simplified Claims Process


Rights Holders:

Registries and Registrars:



Below find archival materials documenting milestones in the formation and implementation of the Trademark Clearinghouse, listed chronologically

March 2009 – Implementation Recommendation Team (IRT)

ICANN's Board of Directors forms a team of 18 intellectual property experts to develop rights protection mechanisms for new gTLDs.

October 2009 – Special Trademark Issues (STI) Team

A cross-constituency team reviews IRT recommendations providing a multi-stakeholder consensus view.

February–April 2011 – Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC)

ICANN's GAC participates in extended discussions with the Board of Directors on topics associated with the New gTLD Program, including rights protection.

June 2011 – ICANN 41 Singapore

October 2011 – Implementation Assistance Group (IAG)

ICANN calls for volunteers to aid in the implementation of Trademark Clearinghouse processes. Over 50 volunteers respond, forming the Implementation Assistance Group (IAG).

October 2011 – ICANN 42 Dakar

October–November 2011 – Request for Information (RFI)

An RFI and two Question & Answer documents are published to solicit proposals for potential Trademark Clearinghouse providers. The RFI closes on 28 November 2011.

March 2012 – ICANN 43 San Jose

April–June 2012 – Timeline and Models

ICANN publishes a proposed structure for Clearinghouse implementation, and information on expected progress and pricing for Clearinghouse services.

June 2012 – ICANN 44 Prague

1 June 2012 – Procurement of Trademark Clearinghouse Providers

After considering proposals from a host of potential providers, ICANN elects to work with Deloitte Enterprise Risk Services and IBM on Clearinghouse services implementation. As of 1 Sep 2021, IBM has assigned the agreement to Kyndryl, a subsidiary which became an independent, publicly traded company on 3 Nov 2021. No changes to the operation of the Trademark Clearinghouse or Trademark Database are anticipated.

August 2012 – Forum on Technical Implementation Issues

Meeting focused on Sunrise and Trademark Claims processes.

September 2012 – Registry Technical Mailing List

Discussion about the technical details of the Registry-Clearinghouse interface.

24 September 2012 – Trademark Clearinghouse Provider Requirements

ICANN publishes information on the responsibilities of the Trademark Clearinghouse provider.

September–October 2012 – Community/ICANN Dialogue: Sunrise and Claims Implementation

The ICANN community proposes alternate solutions to Sunrise and Trademark Claims implementation. ICANN responds.

24 September 2012 – Public Comment: Trademark Clearinghouse Implementation Material

ICANN invites public comment on implementation explanatory memoranda.

October 2012 – ICANN 45 Toronto

November–December 2012 – Stakeholder/CEO Discussions: Achieving Implementation

Representatives from the Business, Intellectual Property, and ISP constituencies, the Noncommercial, registrars, and registries stakeholder groups, and the At-Large Advisory Committee come together to reach implementation solutions.

December 2012 – Sunrise and Trademark Claims Implementation: Business Model

ICANN holds a conference call to discuss the business model for required Rights Protection Mechanisms.

April 2013 – ICANN 46 Beijing

April 2013 – Sunrise and Trademark Claims: Draft RPM Requirements

ICANN publishes a draft of the Rights Protection Mechanism Requirements and solicits community input on the document via a conference call.

June 2013 – Trademark Clearinghouse Flow Charts

Process flow charts are published in an effort to help explain how the TMCH works. Include info about Trademark Verification, Sunrise and Claims.

July 2013 – ICANN 47 Durban

31 July 2013 – Signed Mark Data Testing Files

ICANN publishes SMD testing files, and provides information on each file type, so that registries and registrars can begin learning how to interact with the Trademark Clearinghouse.

16 July 2013 – Previously Abused Domain Names in TMCH Services

Information about the process for including additional domain labels in a Clearinghouse record is published to help rights holders understand how to better use the TMCH to protect their marks.

30 September 2013 – Rights Protection Mechanism Requirements (RPM) Published

11 October 2013 – TMCH Verification Service Now Accepting Additional Abused Labels

The Abused Domain Name labels service allows rights holders to register up to 50 abused labels related to a verified trademark record in the Clearinghouse.

18 October 2013 – Previously Abused Labels Integrated into Trademark Clearinghouse Claims Service

Clearinghouse service providers have begun to add verified abused labels to the list of Domain Name labels subject to the Claims process.

12 November 2013 – Approved Launch Program Application Process Defined

Registry Operators (ROs) and applicants that have been invited to Contracting may now apply for an Approved Launch Program. If ICANN approves the application, the new registry will be allowed to conduct a registration process not otherwise permitted under the Trademark Clearinghouse Requirements [PDF, 388 KB] specified in the registry Agreement.

November 2013 – ICANN 48 Buenos Aires

6 December 2013 – Signed Mark Data Testing Files Updated

New versions of the SMD Testing files provide a better simulation of the production SMD files generated by the Deloitte Trademark Validator, and they no longer include an embedded CA certificate and have been generated without whitespaces.

Trademark Clearinghouse Rights Protection Mechanism Requirements FAQs

Read the frequently asked questions regarding the Trademark Clearinghouse Rights Protection Mechanism Requirements