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.
Priority access for Rights Holders to request domain names associated with trademark(s).
Trademark Claims Service
Notification to a Rights Holder after registration, allowing for immediate action if the domain registered is infringing rights.
Registries and Registrars:
- View Frequently Asked Questions »
- Registries & Registrars: Submit an inquiry via the Customer Portal
- General Inquiries: Email us at email@example.com
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.
- IRT Report [PDF, 299 KB] (29 May 2009)
October 2009 – Special Trademark Issues (STI) Team
A cross-constituency team reviews IRT recommendations providing a multi-stakeholder consensus view.
- STI Report (17 Dec 2009)
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.
- Indicative Scorecard on New gTLD Outstanding Issues - GAC Cartagena Communiqué [PDF, 332 KB] (23 Feb 11)
- ICANN Board Notes on Indicative Scorecard [PDF, 814 KB] (4 Mar 11)
- Protection of Rights: GAC Responses to Board Questions Raised in Brussels [PDF, 135 KB] (28 Feb 11)
- New gTLD Rights Protection Mechanisms: Points of Difference between Board and GAC [PDF, 113 KB] (19 Apr 11)
- GAC Comments on Board's Notes on Indicative Scorecard [PDF, 145 KB] (12 Apr 11)
- Revised ICANN Notes: Indicative Scorecard and GAC Comments to Board Response [PDF, 276 KB] (15 Apr 11)
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).
- IAG Summary of Input [PDF, 591 KB]
- IAG Documentation:
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.
- Protecting Trademark Rights in New gTLDs: Selection of Trademark Clearinghouse Service Providers(1 Jun 2012)
- Request for Information (3 Oct 2011)
- RFI Documentation:
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.
- Project Timeline: October 2011 – October 2012 [PDF, 139 KB] (14 May 2012)
- Preliminary Cost Model [PDF, 70 KB] (1 Jun 2012)
- Draft Implementation Model [PDF, 631 KB] (13 Apr 12)
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.
- Protecting Trademark Rights: Selection of Trademark Clearinghouse Service Providers
- Summary of Trademark Clearinghouse Validation Framework Agreement [PDF, 180 KB]
- Summary of Trademark Clearinghouse Database Framework Agreement [PDF, 13 KB]
August 2012 – Forum on Technical Implementation Issues
Meeting focused on Sunrise and Trademark Claims processes.
- Overview [PDF, 64 KB] (13 Aug 2012)
- Agenda [PDF, 71 KB] (20 Aug 2012)
- Web Meeting Recording 1 (20 Aug 12) *Note: this session lacks audio
- Web Meeting Recording 2 (21 Aug 12)
September 2012 – Registry Technical Mailing List
Discussion about the technical details of the Registry-Clearinghouse interface.
- Conference Call Recording [MP3, 24.2 MB] (20 Sep 12)
- Conference Call Recording [MP3, 11.9 MB] (25 Sep 12)
24 September 2012 – Trademark Clearinghouse Provider Requirements
ICANN publishes information on the responsibilities of the Trademark Clearinghouse provider.
- Draft Provider Requirements [PDF, 1.25 MB]
September–October 2012 – Community/ICANN Dialogue: Sunrise and Claims Implementation
The ICANN community proposes alternate solutions to Sunrise and Trademark Claims implementation. ICANN responds.
- Community Concerns Regarding ICANN's Initial Clearinghouse Solution [PDF, 354 KB] (26 Sep 2012)
- Community Proposed Sunrise Model [PDF, 379 KB] (26 Sep 2012)
- Community Proposed Trademark Claims Model [PDF, 380 KB] (26 Sep 2012)
- ICANN Comments on Alternative Implementation Proposals [PDF, 82 KB] (08 Oct 2012)
- Slides: Alternate Trademark Clearinghouse Proposal [PDF, 262 KB] (9 Oct 2012)
24 September 2012 – Public Comment: Trademark Clearinghouse Implementation Material
ICANN invites public comment on implementation explanatory memoranda.
- Memorandum on Implementing Matching Rules [PDF, 194 KB]
- Memorandum on Implementing Proof of User Verification [PDF, 176 KB]
- Public Comment: Trademark Clearinghouse Documents
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.
- Trademark Clearinghouse Meeting Audio Recording (15 Nov 2012)
- Trademark Clearinghouse Meeting Transcript [PDF, 1.38 MB] (15 Nov 2012)
- Trademark Clearinghouse Meeting Audio Recording (16 Nov 2012)
- Trademark Clearinghouse Meeting Transcript [PDF, 1.16 MB] (16 Nov 2012)
- Building a Secure and Reliable Trademark Clearinghouse (7 Nov 2012)
- Trademark Clearinghouse Update (16 Nov 2012)
- A Follow-Up to Our Trademark Clearinghouse Meetings (26 Nov 2012)
- Concluding the Series of Trademark Clearinghouse Meetings (13 Dec 2012)
- Memorandum on TMCH Strawman Solution [PDF, 117 KB] (20 Mar 2013)
December 2012 – Sunrise and Trademark Claims Implementation: Business Model
ICANN holds a conference call to discuss the business model for required Rights Protection Mechanisms.
- Conference Call Recording [MP3, 14.8 MB] (19 Dec 12)
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.
- Draft RPM Requirements [PDF, 350 KB] (6 Apr 2013)
- Conference Call Recording [MP3, 27.9 MB] (25 Apr 2013)
- Conference Call Presentation [PDF, 216 KB] (25 Apr 2013)
- Registry Technical Mailing List
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.
- Download Approved Launch Program Process & Forms [PDF, 135 KB]
- Read Application Review Guidelines [PDF, 29 KB]
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