The Trademark Clearinghouse is set to open its doors for submissions March 26, ICANN will announce today.
From that date, trademark owners and their agents will be able to start uploading trademark data, enabling them to participate in one or two of the new gTLD program’s rights protection mechanisms.
Adding a mark to the TMCH qualifies it for the Trademark Claims service, which notifies both rights-holders and registrants whenever somebody tries to register a domain matching the mark.
Trademark Claims will run for at least the first 60 days after each new gTLD launches, but ICANN may extend that window depending on the outcome of its “strawman” discussions.
Many trademarks will also qualify for Sunrise periods in new gTLDs by being entered into the Clearinghouse.
Submissions start at $150 per mark per year, with discounts available when marks are registered in bulk.
DI PRO subscribers can work out how painful the TMCH will be on their wallets, and how to maximize their discounts, using our Trademark Clearinghouse Cost Calculator.
The TMCH is being managed by Deloitte, with a back-end database run by IBM.
While March 26 is just four weeks before ICANN expects to approve the first new gTLDs, I wouldn’t expect to see the first Sunrise periods for a few months after that.
The TMCH is still subject to some fierce debate, and not only because of the proposed strawman changes.
On the technical side, registries and registrars have been fuming recently about the lack of any hard technical specifications for integration, which will be needed when the new gTLDs launch.
Last night, ICANN finally posted the first spec as an IETF Internet Draft.
The format, “Mark and Signed Mark Objects Mapping” describes an Extensible Provisioning Protocol extension used by the TMCH to exchange data with registries about registered trademarks.