Trademark Clearinghouse Mechanism
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.