The Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) has been established by ICANN and is part of the measures to protect the rights of trademark holders during the launch of new gTLDs. It serves as a centralized database of trademarks.
The purpose of the Clearinghouse is to accept records of registered trademarks, to validate these records, and then to add them to the central trademark database. To submit and register a trademark in the Clearinghouse is a service QuantmWeb offers.
Why the TMCH is relevant
The TMCH database will provide the basis for the implementation of Sunrise Phases and the communication of the Trademark Claims Notices (for details on both please see our section on Launch phases).
Only trademarks that are included in the TMCH will be eligible to participate in the Sunrise launch phase of any new gTLD. If a trademark holder plans to secure their brand name as a domain name during Sunrise, a submission of that trademark to the TMCH is the first step.
The good news is, a trademark only needs to be submitted once to the TMCH and can than be used in multiple sunrises.
The Claims Notice service becomes relevant after the Sunrise phase of each new TLD, and provides notifications to registrants and trademark holders during the purchase process of any domain matching a trademark record in the TMCH. This service is available during the first 90 days of each new TLD’s General Availability Phase.
How the TMCH works
The TMCH accepts any registered trademark of at least national effect from any country in the world. Court-validated trademarks and marks protected by statute or treaty can also be submitted to the TMCH, although those constitute only a minor portion of trademark records. Only a few exceptions apply – trademarks which contain a dot (.) or which include an existing TLD string (e.g. mytradmark.org) are excluded, as well as device marks. Trademarks also cannot contain a mix of Latin and non-Latin characters, so the sample trademark “Deloitte トーマツ” could not be accepted.
Once a trademark has been submitted to the TMCH, the TMCH will check with the relevant trademark register if the trademark actually exists, if the data provided with the application matches the information on the trademark certificate, and if it really belongs to the entity who submitted the application to the TMCH. If the application is approved, a trademark record is inserted to the TMCH database, and a “Signed Mark Data” file is issued to the trademark holder.
The application process will be as follows:
- QuantmWeb collects the required trademark data from their client and submits it to TMCH. This includes the selection of labels associated with that trademark. A label is a string derived from the trademark to be used as domain name (see the FAQ section for details).
- Our internal fulfillment team will review the application and, if required, will notify the admin contact specified in the order to update the application or provide required documents.
- The admin contact will be able to log into a control panel to perform updates or append documents to the application, and re-submit it for review. There can be multiple reviews and updates in this internal pre-validation stage.
- Once our fulfillment team believes that the application will be accepted by the TMCH, we will submit it to the TMCH
- The TMCH will then validate the trademark. If the TMCH finds data to be incomplete or incorrect, they will come back and allow a single update to the pending application before they finally accept or deny the application.
- If the TMCH accepts the application, a Signed Mark Data file is issued. This file will later be used to apply for domain names during Sunrise.
The TMCH does not offer any refunds if an application is not accepted. Our fulfillment team will therefore work with you in order to try to eliminate the most obvious errors with an application before it is submitted to the TMCH.