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Trademark Clearinghouse Update: Implementation Material for Public Comment

Updated 25 September 2012

The Trademark Clearinghouse is one of several important enhanced rights protection mechanisms that have been built into the New gTLD Program. The Clearinghouse will accept and authenticate rights information, and will support both trademark claims and sunrise services, required in all new gTLDs.

Today, ICANN is publishing two explanatory memoranda related to the Trademark Clearinghouse for a 45-day public comment period:

  1. Implementing the Proof of Use Verification [PDF, 176 KB] – This memo describes the procedures to be used by the Clearinghouse to verify proof of use associated with a trademark where requested.
  2. Implementing the Matching Rules [PDF, 194 KB] – This memo provides the detailed explanation of how a "match" is determined between a trademark record and a domain name, for purposes of the sunrise and claims processes.

The public comment period opened 24 September 2012 and will close on 7 November 2012 at 23:59 UTC.

To access the public comment forum see

In addition to the explanatory memoranda above, the current draft version of the Trademark Clearinghouse Requirements [PDF, 1.285 MB] is available for review. This Requirements document [PDF, 1.285 MB] details the responsibilities of the Trademark Clearinghouse provider, expanding upon the Clearinghouse Request for Information (RFI) to define the specific requirements of the Clearinghouse at a detailed level. It is informed by the gTLD Applicant Guidebook, as well as inputs from the Implementation Assistance Group (IAG) and other community discussions.

Note that discussions on technical implementation of some Clearinghouse processes are continuing, and a volunteer group is working to develop possible alternative models for sunrise and trademark claims services for community feedback.  These discussions are not currently captured in the requirements.

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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"""" is not an IDN."