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Trademark Clearinghouse - Trademark protection for the new top-level domains

The first new top-level domains (ngTLDs) are about to be introduced. In order to support brand owners in protecting their rights, ICANN launched the "Trademark Clearinghouse" (TMCH).

Before the actual launch of the new domain extensions owners can register their trademarks in the database of TMCH. This is both a prerequisite for a possible later preferred registration of (brand) domains in Sunrise periods (even if the final terms for the implementation phase of the new top level in each case are to be determined by the contracting authority). It also provides an information service to the owners about a possible violation of trademark rights when a third applicant wants to register the brand name as a domain under any new toplevel. Also, the applicant will be informed (warned) that a trademark is listed for a domain name in the TMCH.

Registration of a trademark at TMCH can be done for the period of 1, 3 or 5 years. We recommend registering at least for 3 years, as it is very likely that it will take much longer than one year until the new toplevel domain-names currently being approved by the ICANN are all introduced. 

Conditions to Listing

  • The TMCH only verifies finally registered trademarks. Brands in the application status will not be considered.
  • If a mark is to be used during a Sunrise period, it must have been registered before June 26th, 2008.
  • Locally and internationally valid trademarks can be listed.
  • The TMCH verified and managed brands from all jurisdictions and all trademark classes. Identical trademarks are allowed to coexist.
  • Corresponding domain name must be identical to the brand name, partial terms are not possible. Special characters that are not allowed to exist in a domain name can either be omitted or replaced with dashes ("-"). The special character "@" and "&" may be literally written in the language of trademark validity. For a U.S. trademark registration "Example&Test" the following entries are valid accodingly: exampletest.TLD, example-test.TLD, exampleandtest.TLD.
  • Up to 10 different spellings can be registered as domain names being associated to a trademark (more are possible for charge).
  • Trademarks containing an existing topelvel domain name (eg "icann.org") or a dot (eg "deloitte.") are not accepted.
  • Where an entry is to be used in a Sunrise period, a "proof of use" is required also (eg product labeling, advertising and marketing materials such as brochures, catalogs, product manuals, displays, press releases, screenshots, or social media marketing materials ).
 

Conclusion

  • A registration of a mark at TMCH is prerequisite for domain registrations / applications in the Sunrise periods.
  • Registration with the TMCH informs owners of potential trademark infringement by third parties.
  • When an application for a domain name occurs that corresponds to a trademark filed with the TMCH, the applicant is made aware of a possible violation of trademark rights.
  • The TMCH is a service (database of registered trademarks) and has no legal relevance to the effective recognition / enforcement of trademark rights.
 

Important!

This does not automatically prevent the foreign registration of your domains! A registration of your trademark, at least among the most common new toplevel domain-names, is strongly recommended. We will of course promptly inform you of any planned introduction of toplevel domain-names and the appropriate application period / Sunrise periods.

 

Kontaktieren Sie uns schnellstmöglich, wenn Sie Ihre Marke(n) beim TMCH registrieren möchten!

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