The Trademark Clearinghouse - Protect Your Brand Online

Published on 3/28/2013

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is responsible for managing the domain name system. ICANN developed the new gTLD program in order to increase competition and choice in the domain name space. The Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) - launched March 26 - is a critical rights protection mechanism built into ICANN’s new gTLD program. The Trademark Clearinghouse allows brand owners to submit their trademark data into one centralized database, enabling them to register domain names that match their brand in new gTLDs ahead of the general public. Simply put: The Trademark Clearinghouse provides an innovative, simple solution for protecting your brand in the new gTLD era. Any brand, private person, or company can submit their trademark information to the Trademark Clearinghouse. Download the TMCH guidelines for all detailed information regarding eligibility. The Trademark Clearinghouse protects brands in two ways: with a Sunrise Service and a Trademark Claims Service.

Why is the TMCH necessary?

  • Sunrise participants must have cleared their trademarks through the TMCH process prior to submitting a Sunrise application.
  • Trademark holders can also protect their marks during the general registration period by using the Trademark Claims Service.

How the TMCH works

  • Trademark holders will be able to submit their trademark information to a centralized repository.
  • Once trademark information has been verified, the trademark holder will be given a type of code. This code is proof of a valid trademark registration in the TMCH. This code may be used for multiple gTLDs and saves trademark holders the burden of submitting their trademark information for each gTLD.
  • This unique code enables trademark holders to exclusively register domain names that match their corresponding brand during a specified time frame of a gTLD’s launch known as the "Sunrise period".
  • For 90 days following the close of the Sunrise period, trademark holders will also receive a notification when a domain name has been registered that matches their record in the Trademark Clearinghouse.

The TMCH is the foundation of the new Rights Protection Measures built into ICANN’s new gTLD program and is a critical step in the launch of new TLDs beginning this summer.

Learn more at the TMCH website

Download TMCH Guidelines

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