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Trademark Clearinghouse Independent Review



Based on the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) recommendation in May 2011 for a comprehensive post-launch independent review of the Trademark Clearinghouse to be conducted one year after the launch of the 75th new gTLD in the round, ICANN has commissioned an independent review to assess processes pertaining to the Clearinghouse in conjunction with the specified areas for review proposed by the GAC, which include the issue of non-exact matches and ongoing Claims. Analysis Group, the vendor selected to conduct this review, expects a revised Report to be published and provided to the GAC for their review and consideration in the beginning of Q1 2017.


  • Perform a thorough assessment of the effectiveness of the TMCH services in meeting their intended rights protection objectives
  • Identify other issues for evaluation that should be included in the analysis of the Trademark Clearinghouse, such as issues that could be addressed in policy development work in the community
  • Help inform the discussion and enable consideration of the rights protection mechanisms available in the domain name space

Review Areas

This review will examine the effectiveness of the (a) Trademark Clearinghouse Guidelines and Verification Process; (b) Sunrise Period; and (c) Trademark Claims Service. Within these areas, we have identified other related topics to support a more detailed analysis in combination with the GAC specified areas for review, which include:

  1. With regard to the issue of non-exact matches:
    1. To assess whether domain names that include a mark at the beginning or the end of an applied for second level domain could be included in the services.
    2. To establish whether the automated system should be enhanced to include key terms associated with the goods or services identified by the mark, and typographical variations identified by the rights holder.
  2. With regard to the issue of ongoing Claims:
    1. A consultation with registry providers, registrants and rights holders on the benefits or otherwise of extending the period of the Clearinghouse notifications beyond 90 days.
    2. An analysis of the impact of the operation of the Clearinghouse notifications on the commercial watch services market.
    3. An assessment of the likely resource requirements for extending the operation of the Clearinghouse notifications to potential registrants for the life of each new registry.

Review Timelines

Below is the timeline for the Trademark Clearinghouse Independent Review.

Rights Protection Mechanisms Review Timeline

Relevant Resources

Request for Proposal for the Independent Review of the Trademark Clearinghouse

The Trademark Clearinghouse

The Trademark Clearinghouse FAQ

GAC Advice regarding Independent Review of Trademark Clearinghouse

Memorandum on TMCH "Strawman Solution"

Implementation Notes: Trademark Claims Protection for Previously Abused Names

Protection for Trademarks in New gTLDs

IRT Final Report

Special Trademark Issues Review Team Recommendations

New gTLD Trademark Clearinghouse Sunrise and Trademark Claims Processes - Summary of Input from the Implementation Assistance Group

Last updated 23 February 2017.