Trademark Protection / TMCH

Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH)

Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) was established by order of ICANN and is operated by Deloitte and IBM. TMCH enables trademark owners to centrally enforce their trademark rights in the introduction of new Top-Level Domains (TLDs). The registration at TMCH forms a pre-condition for a participation in Sunrise phases.

Officially accredited TMCH-Agents like PartnerGate GmbH can reliably perform the application for registration of trademarks at Trademark Clearinghouse by order of trademark owners and attorneys.

Customers of PartnerGate benefit from an especially easy process of application: It is only necessary to indicate trademark name and registration number. Subsequently PartnerGate will automatically complete all data required by TMCH from the databases of the respective trademark registers and will ensure a smooth process.

The extensive search and collection of comprehensive data otherwise required for a direct application for registration via the website of the Trademark Clearinghouse is not necessary.

Services of Trademark Clearinghouse

  • Central database for registered trademark rights
  • Recurrent authentication and validation of the trademark
  • Registration for 1 year, 3 years or 5 years
  • Sunrise Service for the participation in Sunrise phases of new TLDs
  • Trademark Claims Service for passive trademark protection

Trademark Clearinghouse Mechanism

Sunrise Service

The registration at TMCH is a pre-condition for a participation in Sunrise phases (30-day pre-registration phases for owners of rights) in the introduction of the new Top-Level Domains. A specific registration of trademark domains helps to achieve active trademark protection.

Mode of operation:

  • TMCH authenticates contact data of the trademark owners
  • TMCH verifies trademark registrations at trademark registers
  • TMCH checks the proof of use of the trademark (e.g. screen shot of the website)
  • TMCH enters the trademark in the central TMCH database
  • New-gTLD Registries automatically validate trademark rights of trademark
  • owners in all Sunrise phases

In the Sunrise phases, the trademark owner can prove his/her entitlement with the help of an electronic certificate. For this purpose, the trademark owner registered at TMCH receives a signed file with the trademark data – Signed Mark Data (SMD) – by means of which he/she can carry out the registration of the trademark name or of the labels under a new TLD via any registrar. The certificate is generally valid for all new TLDs, the expensive validation per domain registration is not required anymore.

Trademark Claims Service

Every Sunrise phase is followed by the so-called "General Availability" in which the registration of domains under a new Top-Level Domain is possible for anyone without proving trademark rights. During the first (not less than) 90 days, the Trademark Claims Service of TMCH offers a warning/notification function, thereby guaranteeing passive trademark protection.

Mode of operation:

  • TMCH warns potential applicants in the process of domain registration in case of correspondence with a trademark registered at TMCH (pointing to possible trademark infringements)
  • TMCH informs trademark owners about domain registrations that are identical with their trademark

Booking of the Trademark Claims Service is possible without proof of use of a trademark. However, that does not prevent the registration of trademark domains by a third party.