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ICANN's Trademark Clearinghouse to Provide Unprecedented Protections in the Domain Name Space

On 26 March 2013, ICANN will unveil a global repository for trademark data, the first of its kind in the domain name space. The Trademark Clearinghouse will enable companies and individuals to protect their trademarks, while new generic Top-Level Domains are introduced into the Domain Name System.  Rights holders whose trademark information has been verified by the Clearinghouse will have the opportunity to participate in a set of services designed to help protect their rights.

Trademark Clearinghouse Structure

Clearinghouse operations are divided into two functions:

  1. Trademark Validation
    Beginning 26 March 2013, rights holders can submit trademark data at Deloitte Enterprise Risk Services is responsible for verifying these trademark submissions.
  2. Database Administration
    ICANN is working with IBM on management of the Trademark Clearinghouse database, including provision of relevant data to new gTLD registries and registrars for Sunrise and Trademark Claims services. These systems are anticipated to be operational later in 2013.

Benefits of Inclusion in the Trademark Clearinghouse

Rights holders that register their marks with the Clearinghouse will receive:

  • Access to Sunrise Registration
    The Sunrise period allows eligible trademark holders the opportunity to register their marks as domain names in advance of the general public.
  • Notification of Registration
    During Sunrise and Claims periods, the Trademark Clearinghouse will alert rights holders when a domain name is registered that matches the rights holder's mark in the Clearinghouse.

Learn More About the Trademark Clearinghouse

  • Webinars on Trademark Registration
    Deloitte is hosting educational webinars on 27, 28 February and 6, 14 March 2013. Space is limited. Sign up now.
  • New gTLD Program Website
    Find in-depth information on the Clearinghouse, including technical specifications and a historical archive documenting its development.

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Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."