Frequently Asked Questions - Signed Mark Data (SMD)
In the event that you have failed to renew your mark record in time, your mark record will receive the status expired. You will no longer be able to register in sunrise or receive any notifications. In the event that you still want to receive these services after expiration of the mark record, you will need to start the process again; meaning that you will need to resubmit your mark information.
Step 1: You first need to log in to your TMCH interface. Once logged, ou will be redirected to the 'Mark Overview' page.
Step 2: Click on the 'Services' tab (between the 'Marks' tab and the 'Cases' tab).
Step 3: Click on the 'Standard Services' button.
Step 4: The 'Services Overview' table is divided in two columns: the 'mark' column and then 'U-label' column.
Step 5: In the 'U-label' column, you have the labels associated with your trademark, a file icon and On/Off buttons related to the Sunrise services and claims.
Step 6: Click on the file icon and your browser should download the SMD file instantaneously.
You should first verify that labels are attached to your trademark record. If it is not the case you should add them by following the guidance provided here and download again the new SMD file after this. If labels are attached to your trademark, you should try to toggle off and toggle on again the sunrise services and download again the SMD file. If the problem persists, you can always submit a ticket in our customer support tool.
In order to download the SMD file via the web interface you will need to:
- Sign in to the TMCH application;
- Navigate to the "services" tab;
- Find the mark record for which you want to download the SMD file (keep in mind that only verified mark records with valid POU documentation are eligible for SMD generation);
- Click on the file icon in the SMD column;
- Your browser will then download the SMD file.
This will depend on what was agreed between the concerned parties. For the Clearinghouse, by agreeing to the terms and conditions, the trademark agent will be deemed to have obtained the right to download and use the SMD files of the trademark holder. It is then up to the trademark agent and trademark holder to decide who should register the domain name.
Every time a trademark record is renewed or updated based on new information, a new SMD file is generated.
The new SMD file is valid from the moment it is generated. It expires the moment the trademark record in the Clearinghouse expires.
Revocation is the process executed by the Trademark Validator, Deloitte, to invalidate an SMD file. Revocation may be triggered, for example, when an SMD file has been compromised or when a record is removed from the Trademark Clearinghouse. Once an SMD file has been revoked, the SMD file cannot be used anymore.
During the sunrise of a new TLD, you may go to a Registrar to request the registration of a domain name (e.g. exampleone.example or example-one.example). The registration process is going to be similar to the process you are used to with your favorite Registrar, but at some point in the process, the Registrar will ask you for your SMD file. The Registrar may require you to upload the SMD file (similar to the process to upload an attachment on a web mail provider) or to copy/paste the contents of the SMD file (select all text, copy and paste) into a text box.
You can open your SMD file with your favorite text editor (e.g. notepad in Windows or textedit in Mac OS X). At the top of the file, there are five lines that are human-readable (the information in these five lines is also encoded in the SMD FILE). These five lines indicate:
- The Mark this SMD FILE refers to (e.g. Marks: Example One)
- A unique identifier (e.g. smdID: 1-2)
- The labels that you can use to register domain names (e.g. U-labels: example-one, exampleone)
- The start of validity of the SMD file (e.g. notBefore: 2011-08-16 09:00)
- The end of validity of the SMD file (e.g. notAfter: 2012-08-16 09:00)
Between the SMD file boundaries (-----BEGIN ENCODED SMD----- and -----END ENCODED SMD-----) the actual SMD file is encoded. You should not modify your SMD file, as you may render the SMD file invalid. You can send your SMD file by email or attach the contents to a legal agreement.
- the Nice classification (if applicable) and detailed description of goods and services of your trademark [encoded];
- contact information of yourself , if you use a holder account, or contact information of your trademark agent, you are using one [encoded].
The contents of an SMD file are similar to this:
Marks: Example One
U-labels: example-one, exampleone
notBefore: 2011-08-16 09:00
notAfter: 2012-08-16 09:00
-----BEGIN ENCODED SMD-----
-----END ENCODED SMD-----
In the domain name registration process, the purpose of a SMD file is to show that the Trademark Clearinghouse has verified your mark, and that you have met the minimum eligibility requirements to request the registration of domain names during the sunrise period of a TLD.
For example, if your mark is "Example One", your SMD will show that you are allowed to register exampleone. <TLD> or example-one.<TLD>.
Note: A mark (e.g., Example One) is converted into specific domain name labels (e.g. exampleone) that are technically valid in the domain name system, according to a set of matching rules applied by the Trademark Clearinghouse. Your SMD may allow you to request the registration of one or more labels (e.g. exampleone and example-one) depending on the name of the mark submitted.
A Signed Mark Data (SMD) file is similar to a password in the sense that it allows you to identify yourself and request an action that requires privileges to be executed.
The SMD file is a versatile instrument that will allow you to register domain names during the sunrise period of new gTLDs and request other services (e.g. initiate an URS process).
Note: The possession of your SMD is sufficient to request services based on your SMD, therefore it is important that you keep your SMD secure and you only share your SMD with a trusted person/entity (e.g. ICANN-approved URS providers).
Once your trademark record and the proof of use has been verified, a SMD file is available within 1 hour. Each time any information relating to the trademark record is changed, a new SMD file will be generated. The old SMD file will be revoked and will be no longer valid.
You are able to retrieve SMD files with the special INFO command as described in the API Documentation available on our website, or via the web interface in tab Domains & Services.