With the first new gTLD delegation likely just a matter of weeks away, registries and registrars are reporting problems getting access to the Trademark Clearinghouse for testing purposes.
ICANN launched an OT&E (operational test and evaluation environment) for companies to test their systems against the IBM-run TMCH back-end last week, but few have so far managed to get in.
Some registrars have been denied access because they have not yet signed the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement.
While that’s a prerequisite for selling new gTLD domains, some say it should not also be a barrier to testing their TMCH implementation before they decide to sign on the dotted line.
At least one registrar that has actually signed the 2013 RAA also says it has been denied access.
Meanwhile, several back-end applicants and back-end registry providers have reported that they too have been told they can’t access the OT&E until they’ve signed the 2013 RAA.
Registries are of course not obliged to sign any RAA in order to act as registries.
Others say they’ve received the credentials needed to access the OT&E but that they don’t work.
ICANN has blamed a mix-up in its workflow for the registries getting blocked, something it expects to get fixed quickly. It’s also looking into the complaints from registrars.
The TMCH is the database that registries and registrars will use to validate trademarks during sunrise periods, and to check for possible cybersquatting during the first few months of launch.