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Draft Report of the Independent Review of the Trademark Clearinghouse Available for Public Comment

25 July 2016 – ICANN today announced the publication of the Draft Report of the Independent Review of the Trademark Clearinghouse. Specific considerations related to the matching criteria, Trademark Claims service and Sunrise period are assessed in the review, conducted by Analysis Group.

Executive summary [PDF, 73 KB].

Read the report [PDF, 1.15 MB].

The report is available for public comment through 3 September 2016. Feedback will be incorporated into a revised report.

Comment on the Draft Report of the Independent Review of the Trademark Clearinghouse.

Key Findings:

Expanding Matching Criteria to include non-exact matches may be of limited benefit: The dispute rate of completed registrations that are variations of trademark strings is very low.

Extending the Trademark Claims Service may have diminishing value: Registrations of names matching trademarks decline after the required 90-day Claims service period ends.

Few trademark holders utilize the Sunrise period: Most users of the Trademark Clearinghouse submit proof of use to gain access to the Sunrise period. However, across eligible trademark holders, fewer than 20 percent have used the Sunrise period to date.

Additional Information

An independent review of the Trademark Clearinghouse was recommended [PDF, 110 KB] by the GAC in May 2011 to be completed after the launch of the New gTLD Program. The review is informed by an analysis of Trademark Clearinghouse and third-party data sources, including data collected from stakeholders via interviews and surveys.

About ICANN

ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you have to type an address into your computer - a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation and a community with participants from all over the world. ICANN and its community help keep the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It also promotes competition and develops policy for the top-level of the Internet's naming system and facilitates the use of other unique Internet identifiers. For more information please visit: www.icann.org.


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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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."