Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH)
Most important rights protection mechanism built into ICANN’s new generic Top Level Domain program
Allows brand owners to submit their trademark data into one centralized database, prior to and during the launch of new gTLDs.
Verify the contact information of the trademark records
Store and publish data which relates to the rights of trademark owners.
Services of TMCH
Trademark owners can take advantage of the Sunrise period to safeguard the domain name that matches their trademark.
Sunrise is an initial period of at least 30 days before domain names are offered to the general public.
This is a notification service which follows the Sunrise period – mandated by ICANN for all new gTLDs – to warn both domain name registrants as well as trademark holders of possible infringements.
Real-time notification is provided if similar trademark registers the new gTLDs.
If trademark owner, who has applied TMCH, does not register the domain during the sunrise period of a new gTLDs, it will be treated as giving up to register that domain. Other parties have the right to register the domain that matches the trademark after publishing new gTLDs.
Q1. What kinds of trademark can apply TMCH?
Trademark which includes “Dot (.)”
Figurative mark which lacks of text version
Q2. Why my domain is not protected even though I have registered the trademark?
Trademark is a sign that features the uniqueness of corporate branding and allows customers to distinguish the goods or services of an enterprise, and there are 45 classes in trademark that cover all goods and services. Registering trademark in single or few classes cannot extend its right or prevent other parties registering same trademark in other classes.
However, for domain, due to the limited online resources and its distinctiveness, corporation has to litigate once its domain is squatted by others. Brands should register domain as soon as possible so as to protect the rights.
Q3. What is the requirement to apply TMCH?
You can apply TMCH if you are the trademark owner or the representative of trademark owner. It is noted that the representative will receive the notification of sunrise service and trademark claims service instead of the owner.
Q4. Can I prevent my domain from being squatted by others after applying TMCH?
TMCH cannot prevent other parties squatting your domain, therefore, trademark owner who has applied TMCH should register the domain during sunrise period or once he/she receives the real-time notification from TMCH. Else, it will be treated as giving up registration.