All New gTLD registries, and contracted registrars, need to work with the Trademark Clearinghouse to provide Sunrise and Claims services. These services are rights protection mechanisms for trademark holders that have recorded their marks with the Trademark Clearinghouse. The information below is intended to help registries and registrars better understand the technical aspects and processes related to providing Sunrise and Claims services during TLD Startup.
In order for a 2012 round gTLD registry to submit a TLD Startup plan, registries are required to first complete testing with the Trademark Database (TMDB).
In order to be eligible to participate in the TLD Startup process for a 2012 round gTLD registry, registrars are required to complete testing with the Trademark Database (TMDB) and must be an ICANN-accredited registrar.
The list of ICANN-accredited registrars that received certification from the TMDB operator is available below in two formats.
Registry and Registrar TMDB Certification
For registries and registrars to access the Clearinghouse data, they must configure access to a test environment to ensure that their systems are connecting properly. Once integration testing has been successfully completed in the test environment, registries and registrars receive a certification and are able to use the production environment for the Clearinghouse services.
|Step||Registry Process||Registrar Process|
|1||Registry Agreement executed.||Registrar Accreditation Agreement executed.|
|2||Registry Operator supplies Trademark Database contact information to ICANN.|
Registrar requests token from ICANN at firstname.lastname@example.org. Request must include:
The request must be sent by the Registrar Primary Contact from the Primary Contact email address on record with ICANN.
|3||ICANN provides a registration token to the TMDB contact.||ICANN provides a registration token to the TMDB contact.|
|4||Registry operator uses the TMDB website to generate user credentials and configure profile parameters using the token.||Registrar uses the TMDB website to generate user credentials and configure profile parameters using the token.|
|5||TMDB user credentials are emailed to the TMDB contact email address.||TMDB user credentials are emailed to the TMDB contact email address.|
|6||Registry operator completes functional testing within the TMDB.||Registrar completes functional testing within the TMDB.|
|7||IBM certifies successful completion of testing and notifies registry operator and ICANN.||IBM certifies successful completion of testing and notifies registrar and ICANN.|
|8||TMDB account is ready for use.||TMDB account is ready for use.|
|9||Registry operator provides TLD Start-up Information to ICANN, including proof of successful TMDB testing.||ICANN updates the Certified Registrars List.|
|10||ICANN reviews and approves start up information (follow up may be required if issues are found)||Registrar is now allowed to support TLD Start-up programs that incorporate Sunrise, Claims Periods and other related periods defined by the Rights Protection Mechanisms.|
- Presentation [PDF, 5.56 MB] – The Trademark Database (TMDB) Explained for Registrars
- Webinar - The Trademark Database (TMDB) Explained for Registry Operators
- Presentation [PDF, 2.02 MB] - The Trademark Database (TMDB) Explained for Registry Operators
Sunrise and Claims User Manuals
Learn how to access and navigate the Trademark Clearinghouse interface.
Registration and Platform Access Information
Get started with the Operational Testing & Evaluation and Production Platforms.
- Process Document [PDF, 639 KB] (Updated 27 May 2014)
- Registry Process Diagram [PDF, 132 KB] (Updated 27 May 2014)
- Registrar Process Diagram [PDF, 129 KB] (Updated 27 May 2014)
Registry TLD Startup Information
Submit TLD Startup Information, request Sunrise and Claims dates and request an exemption from further TMDB integration testing.
- TLD Launch Process Document [PDF, 627 KB] (Updated 27 May 2014)
- TLD Launch Process Diagram [PDF, 203 KB] (Updated 27 May 2014)
- TMCH Integration Testing Certification Exemption Request Process [PDF, 238 KB] (Updated 27 March 2023)
- TMCH Certification Exemption Request Template [PDF, 139 KB] (Updated 31 July 2020)
Trademark Clearinghouse Rights Protection Mechanism Documentation
- View the TMCH Rights Protection Mechanism Requirements [PDF, 388 KB]
- View the TMCH Rights Protection Mechanism Requirements FAQ
- View Frequently Asked Questions
- Registries: Submit a general inquiry to ICANN via the Naming Services portal
- Registrars: Email ICANN at email@example.com
- General: Email ICANN at firstname.lastname@example.org
Signed Mark Data Files
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 a trademark holder to apply for a Domain Name during the Sunrise period. Learn more [PDF, 400 KB] (Published 29 August 2013).
SMD Testing files are intended to help registries and registrars in their integration efforts with the Trademark Database in advance of delegation. The information below provides information about SMD testing and various test files to facilitate the testing process.
- SMD Testing Files Overview v.1.4 [PDF] (Updated 21 September 2022)
- Test SMD Revocation List v.1.4 [CSV] (Updated 19 August 2022)
- Active SMD v.1.4 (Updated 19 August 2022)
- Revoked SMD v.1.4 (Updated 21 September 2022)
- Invalid SMD v.1.4 (Updated 19 August 2022)
- Revoked TMV Certificate v.1.4 (Updated 21 September 2022)
- IDN-SMD Testing Files (Updated 21 October 2022)
Revoking an SMD is the process of invalidating an SMD before its expiration date. The Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) may invalidate an SMD for several reasons, including security or data validation issues. The list (SMDRL) of revoked SMDs is maintained as part of the Trademark Database (TMDB) and published as specified in Section 6.2 of the TMCH Functional Specifications. If your product uses SMDs, you must verify that the SMD has not been revoked as described in Section 5.3.2 of the aforementioned Internet-draft.
Signed Mark Data Revocation List (SMDRL)
gTLD registries and registrars of new gTLDs have access to the SMDRL from the TMCH as part of the RPM requirements, and other parties may request access from ICANN. If you are interested in accessing the SMDRL, please send an email to email@example.com using a subject line of "SMDRL Access Request."