The creation of the Trademark ClearingHouse is part of the programme launched by ICANN to liberalise the process of creating internet domain name extensions. Since November 2013, this programme has allowed the creation of hundreds of new extensions. Some will be geographical (.paris, .nyc,…), others community (.gay, …), generic (.health, .sport, …) or linked to brands or companies (.aquarelle, .total, .sfr, .canalplus, …).

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ICANN, the organisation that oversees domain names on the Internet, has developed the Trademark Clearinghouse to work with trademarks and registrars to provide a solid foundation for enhanced trademark protection on the Internet. What is the TMCH? How does it help you protect the digital dimension of your brands?


As an official agent of the Trademark Clearinghouse, SafeBrands has created a dedicated service to advise and assist you from A to Z in the preparation and management of your registration files. Accredited registrar with ICANN since 1997, SafeBrands has been involved in the new gTLD programme since 2008, building up a strong experience in the field.


Want to register your trademark with the Trademark Clearinghouse? Still have questions about how it works? How do you go about registering domain names in the new gTLDs? SafeBrands' legal department has prepared a document answering 60 basic and more in-depth questions about the TMCH.


With the massive arrival of new extensions, a host of possibilities are opening up for brand owners. SafeBrands' legal and commercial teams can assist you with a complete and specialised service, from TMCH registration to domain name registration, in addition to Internet trademark monitoring services.


Whether it is a defensive strategy in terms of intellectual property or the development of your image on the Internet, it is essential to register your trademarks with the Trademark Clearinghouse to secure and defend your digital identity: what are the conditions for registering your trademark?


Good trademark management is becoming complicated with the profusion of new gTLDs. SafeBrands has been involved in the new extensions programme since the beginning in 2008 and has the experience to diversify its services compared to the basic services of the TMCH.


The Trademark Clearinghouse has been set up to protect trademark owners within the framework of the ICANN’s new TLD programme. Its purpose is to centralize data about your trademarks for the priority registration of your domain names, and to alert you in the event of a similar application submitted by a third party.




    Upstream of the launch of the first new extensions, the Trademark Clearinghouse enables trademark holders or their consultants to register their intellectual property rights. After checking, this data is stored centrally and used by the new extension ‘registries’ for processing the priority applications you submit to register your domain names (during what are known as ‘Sunrise’ periods). This centralized process considerably reduces the administrative workload and the associated cost for trademark owners: a single registration of each trademark with the Trademark Clearinghouse will make it possible to avoid some of the specific costs associated with each ‘Sunrise’ period.


    If you have gone to the trouble of registering your trademarks with the Trademark Clearinghouse, you will be alerted if any third party tries to register a domain name corresponding to your brand. Likewise, the person applying for the domain name will receive an alert telling them that the domain name they wish to register corresponds to a trademark. And lastly, every operator of a new gTLD will be required to give you, as the trademark owner, priority in registering domain names related to your trademark or associated with it (as long as you apply for domains during the priority ‘sunrise’ periods). For example, the registry for .shoes will offer Nike the opportunity to register before the names are opened to the public.


In the event of an infringement being noted, the trademark owner will be able to take action. ICANN is working on putting in place a system for resolving disputes associated with new domain names that is even simpler, faster, and cheaper than the UDRP. The URS (Uniform Suspension System) will make it possible to quickly block any domain name or site which is a clear infringement (more information can be found on ICANN’s website).

Although it sounds good in principle, this procedure has a limited impact because although it allows the domain name to be blocked, it cannot impose a transfer of ownership and must be renewed to maintain protection.


With the dawn of around a thousand new extensions over the coming years, trademark holders are anxious. Should they protect their trademark for all TLDs? How can they guarantee that a third party will not use their name with one of these TLDs? The purpose of the Trademark ClearingHouse is to provide a crucial advance checking and verification system to link all registered trademarks to the new domain names to be released. SafeBrands offers support in this new domain landscape.


This service has been designed by SafeBrands to advise you on which strategy to adopt, which trademarks to register, and to help you with the whole process of managing your Trademark Clearinghouse records.


Let us take care of everything, We will compile a list of your trademarks, validate your records, follow up the registration and provide you with an interface to monitor and manage your applications.


As an ICANN-accredited registrar and as an officially approved registrar for dozens of country code TLDs, an elected AFNIC board member and a member of INTA, SafeBrands has been involved in work on the new TLD programme since its inception in 2008 .


SafeBrands has over 15 years of experience in providing domain name-related services to trademark professionals, both those working for businesses and for law firms. Our SafeBrands TMCH service is adapted to each client’s specific needs. We provide a comprehensive service to validate applications for businesses, as well as managing applications from law firms that do not wish to become TMCH agents.


The SafeBrands legal team has created a 20+ page document with answers to all the questions you might have about the Trademark Clearinghouse. The summary is as follows. To receive this document, please fill in the form at the bottom of this page.

1. Definition of the Trademark ClearingHouse

a. What does TMCH mean?
b. What does SMD mean?
c. What do CQ’s mean?
d. What is the Trademark ClearingHouse?
e. Will the database of trademarks filed with the Trademark ClearingHouse be made public?
f. What is the purpose of the Trademark ClearingHouse?
g. What is the point of the Trademark ClearingHouse if one cannot prevent a filing?
h. Is it really a saving for right holders when you see the cost of the Trademark ClearingHouse?
i. Does registration with the TMCH create rights?


2. Registration dates

a. When will it be possible to start registering trademarks with the Trademark ClearingHouse?
b. Should one register as soon as possible with the Trademark ClearingHouse?
c. What is the advantage of registering for multiple years, i.e. for 3 or 5 years?
d. Will the Trademark ClearingHouse disappear once all the new TLDs have been launched?


3. Sunrise and claim periods

a. Will it be mandatory to go through the Trademark ClearingHouse to benefit from the sunrise and claim systems?
b. What are the durations of the sunrise and claim periods?
c. Can the trade mark owner decide not to benefit from the sunrise and claim periods?
d. Once the claim period has ended, will notifications of identical registrations continue?
e. What will be the legal value of a notification?
f. Will it be possible to receive claim notifications on multiple email addresses?
g. Will an objection be possible following a notification during the claim period?


4. Trademarks eligible for the Trademark ClearingHouse

a. What happens if one files an unregistered trademark with the Trademark ClearingHouse?
b. Can trademarks that are in the process of being registered with a national trademark office be registered in the Trademark ClearingHouse?
c. Can a sign be registered without being registered as a trademark?
d. Which trademarks can be registered in the Trademark ClearingHouse?
e. Will trademarks in non-Latin characters be eligible for registration with the Trademark ClearingHouse?
f. Will trademarks in non-ASCII characters be eligible for the Trademark ClearingHouse?
g. Will trademarks in IDN characters be eligible for the Trademark ClearingHouse?
h. Will appellation of origin marks be eligible for the Trademark ClearingHouse?
i. Will well-known or reputed trademarks be eligible for the Trademark ClearingHouse?
j. Will collective marks be eligible for the Trademark ClearingHouse (i.e. marks held by several owners)?
k. Will collective marks have to be registered in the Trademark ClearingHouse in the name of all proprietors or in the name of only one of the proprietors included in the registration?
l. Will semi-figurative marks be eligible for registration with the Trademark ClearingHouse?


5. The depositor

a. Who will be able to register trademarks with the Trademark ClearingHouse?
b. What must the licensee provide? c. What must the agent provide?


6. The hypothesis of identical trademarks registered in the Trademark Clearinghouse

a. Will an individual be able to register his or her mark with the Trademark ClearingHouse if another identical mark has already been registered?
b. Will he be notified of the subsequent registration of that identical mark?


7. Verification of the registered trademark

a. What is the degree of verification of the trademark by the Trademark ClearingHouse?
b. Who will be responsible for the verification of the trade mark submitted to the Trademark ClearingHouse?


8. The speciality principle

a. Does the Trademark ClearingHouse take into account the principle of trademark speciality? How does it do so?
b. Will it be necessary to translate the goods and services of a trademark into English in order to register it with the Trademark ClearingHouse?
c. If I have a trademark registered for chocolates, can I prevent someone from registering a domain name similar or identical to my trademark in .sport?


9. The territoriality principle

a. Will the principle of territoriality of the trademark be taken into account? In other words, will it be possible to register an international trademark at the Trademark ClearingHouse? Will it be possible to register all the countries designated in the mark to participate in the different sunrise periods? Will it be necessary to register several identical trademarks to designate several territories?
b. How to proceed if, for example, the international trademark covers only 3 countries and there are 5 national trademarks covering other countries? Should there be multiple Trademark ClearingHouse registrations to cover a maximum number of countries?


10. Brand exploitation

a. Does the mark need to be registered AND used?
b. In the case of renewal of registration, is new evidence of use of the mark required?
c. If it is necessary to prove the use of the trademark to benefit from the Sunrises, what happens to trademarks that are registered but not yet used (due to the 5 year time limit, under French law, to start using one’s trademark)? If it is not possible to prove use, does the trademark registered in the Trademark ClearingHouse still benefit from the Trademark Claim periods?
d. In the case of an international trademark, must proof of use be provided in each of the countries covered by the registration?
e. Will a screen print of the main website on which the mark is displayed be admissible?


11. Registration of domain names in the new extensions

a. When will we have the reservation conditions for each gTLD?
b. Will anonymous registration of a domain name be prohibited in order to preserve the rights of trademark holders?
c. Will the trademark holder be able to choose the variants of domain names that he wants to register?
d. Will a trademark be translatable into domain names? For example, could an imaginary trademark “ICANN EXAMPLE” be translated into the following variations: “icannexample.test” (English), “icannexemple.test” (French), “icannejemplo.test” (Spanish), “icannمثال.test” (Arabic) or “icann例子.test” (Chinese)?
e. If the trademark is composed of special characters such as “&” or “@”, can these characters be translated into domain name variations?


12. The Trademark ClearingHouse registration file

a. Do we know what form the Trademark ClearingHouse application files will take? Will the process be entirely paperless via a client interface?
b. What information will be required to register with the Trademark ClearingHouse?
c. In what format will these documents be provided?


13. Costs and means of payment

a. What are the costs imposed by the Trademark ClearingHouse?
b. What is the Trademark ClearingHouse SafeBrands offer?
c. What payment methods will be accepted by the Trademark ClearingHouse?


14. Trademark Clearinghouse Agent

a. What will be the conditions for becoming an agent?
b. Why go through SafeBrands?


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SafeBrands Trademark Clearinghouse Services are handled by our Legal Department, which offers a full service from filing trademarks to registering domains in all the extensions, with a comprehensive range of monitoring and alert services.



    • advise you about the trademarks to register,
    • check your applications and the validity of your rights,
    • file your previously-registered trademarks directly with the Trademark Clearinghouse.

    • perform registration of domain names in the desired extensions with the various registries,
    • carry out all the necessary administrative procedures,
    • provide tracking of your applications with a dedicated account manager and via a secure extranet, with data synchronized with the Trademark Clearinghouse in real-time.

    You have only a single declaration to make per trademark, however many extensions the corresponding domains are to be registered in.


    • alert you in the event of one of the new registries receiving a registration application identically matching one of your trademarks, via the “trademark claims” system, the duration of which (90 days) we can extend for one or more years,
    • offer analysis of the nature of the infringement in order to determine in conjunction with yourselves the appropriate steps to take,
    • our domain name monitoring systems allow you to extend the results of the clearinghouse “trademark claims” to registered domains that include your trademarks,



    Although the Trademark Clearinghouse obliges you to pay on line by credit card (unless you subscribe to the Trademark Clearinghouse’s “Prepayment” offer, which requires an initial deposit of $15,000), Mailclub invoices you at the intervals you wish, with all the standard methods of payment.

To obtain details of our “Corporate” or “Law Firms” services and our rates, please contact us.
Contact TMCH


Not all trademarks can be lodged with the Trademark Clearinghouse – they must first have been registered.


The following are accepted :

  • National or regional word marks,
  • Trademarks that have been validated by judicial institutions,
  • Trademarks that are protected by laws and treaties in force,
  • All other trademarks that constitute an intellectual property right.

If you have taken care to register your trademarks with the Trademark Clearinghouse, you will :

  • Benefit from very favourable rates during priority domain name registration periods when each new extension for which you are eligible is created,
  • Have simplified access to the priority registration procedures for new extensions,
  • Receive alerts on third party bids to register a trademark with the Trademark Clearinghouse, or a domain name that is exactly the same as your trademark or in one of the variants accepted by the ICANN ‘matching rules’.



Why choose our Trademark Clearingouse global service? Good question! If you can register yourself directly with the TMCH, why go through us? Instead of giving you long explanations, this comparison table will help you find a number of answers to this question: