How to get your trademark verified with the TMCH?
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Trademark verification with the Trademark Clearinghouse comes with many benefits for you as a domain owner. A verified trademark enables you to apply for new gTLDs in their Sunrise Phases, order defensive registration blocks, and be notified whenever someone tries to register your trademarked domain name with a new gTLD. In this article, we explain how the verification process with the Trademark Clearinghouse works and what data and documents you need for it.
What is the Trademark Clearinghouse?
The Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) is a centralized database of registered trademarks. As hundreds of new gTLDs have entered the market, this has opened up many new opportunities for fraudsters to leech off the efforts of well-known trademark holders. The institution of the TMCH is an integral part of ICANN’s new gTLD program that serves to protect the rights of trademark holders. The TMCH is responsible for the verification of trademarks and for the storage of trademark information in a centralized database.
What types of trademarks are accepted into the TMCH register?
The Trademark Clearinghouse accepts three different types of trademarks:
- Registered trademarks.
- Marks protected by statute or treaty.
- Court-validated marks.
In most cases, your trademark will fall under the umbrella of registered trademarks. These types of trademarks are valid on a national or regional level. You can read all about different types of trademarks and which types are included or excluded on the Trademark Clearinghouse’s official website.
Be aware that you can only submit applications for registered trademarks through the Openprovider control panel. Please contact our support team in case you wish to make an application for a mark protected by statute or treaty or a court-validated mark.
What are labels, and how many labels can I register?
The term “label” refers to a trademark when it is converted into a domain-like representation. That means that you will need to omit or replace all characters that would be invalid in a domain name.
Invalid characters in domain names include spaces, “&” signs, and “@” signs. For example, if your hypothetical business name would be “Open & Provider” (a slight variation on ours), this is what your label(s) could look like:
- openprovider (omitting &).
- open-provider (replacing & with a hyphen).
- open-and-provider (replacing & with the English “and”).
- openandprovider (same as before, but without the hyphens).
- open-en-provider (“en” is the Dutch translation of “and”. You can choose to replace “and” here with a synonym in any language that you prefer).
The standard price for TMCH registration includes a maximum of 10 unique labels. If you want to register more, an extra fee of $2.99 (€2.89) per label applies.
What information do I need to submit my order to the Trademark Clearinghouse?
- Name of the trademark.
- Registration number.
- Registration date.
- Jurisdiction in which the trademark is valid.
- All labels you wish to register. The control panel will automatically generate a list of possible labels when you enter your registered trademark).
- Classification of your goods and services. A description of all classes can be found on the page where you submit your trademark.
- Detailed description of your goods and services (as listed in your official trademark file).
- Trademark holder status (owner, licensee or assignee).
- Contact information, as listed in your trademark file. In case this exact information is already listed in your Openprovider account, you can also choose to copy this data into your application.
- A signed declaration that this trademark is yours.
- A sample of proof of use. Some examples of accepted samples include labels, tags or product containers that show the trademark, marketing or advertising materials that show the trademark, or a clear screenshot of a website that shows the trademark. Click here for more information about accepted samples.
How do I get my trademark verified with the Trademark Clearinghouse?
One way to register your trademark with the TMCH is to do so through their website. However, as Openprovider is an official agent of TMCH, you can also do so through our control panel if you already have your domain(s) registered with us. We will take care of the full verification process for you. Submitting your application through us also makes it easier to register new gTLDs in their Sunrise Phases through our control panel.
The application process for TMCH through Openprovider works as follows:
- Log in to the control panel and go to New gTLDs → Trademark Clearinghouse in the menu on the left side.
- Click on “Submit trademark” in the top right corner.
- Fill in the required information.
- Double-check to make sure all data you have entered is an exact match of the information on your trademark file. Incorrect data can lead to a rejected order for which you will not be refunded.
- Click on “Check info” and review and submit your application. This is also where you will see the fee that you will pay for the registration. This amount will be deducted from your account balance. Be aware that paying the fee for multiple years upfront is cheaper than opting to pay on a yearly basis.
- We will review your application and check if the information you entered is correct. After this, we will ask you to send us the signed declaration and a sample of proof of use.
- After we have received these documents, your order will be submitted to the TMCH. It usually takes up to one week for the TMCH to receive and verify your order and finish the verification process.
What are the costs of verifying your trademark with the Trademark Clearinghouse?
This depends on your particular case. After you click on “Check info” during the application process, you will see the initial fee that you will need to pay for your order. The TMCH bills all registrations on a yearly base. It is also possible to pay for 3 or 5 years in advance. Paying in advance is cheaper than opting to pay every year.
You can find more information about the Trademark Clearinghouse and the verification process in this dedicated category of our Knowledge Base.
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