After years in the pipeline, the new '.eu' top level domain name will finally be coming to life very soon now. Osborne Clarke's intellectual property team reports on the timings and the steps for all brand owners to take at
IP Bulletin – November 2005
For more information contact Susanna Ewing of Osborne Clarke at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 020 7105 7550
New .eu domain name
The body EURid has been set up to manage the new .eu top-level domain name. EURid was created by the operators of the country-code top-level domain registries for Belgium, Italy and Sweden. EURid is running a Sunrise period runs for 4 months during which time only certain applicants can request a .eu domain name. After that period, registration will be opened up to the wider public. Throughout the process, domain names will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis. It is important to note that, in contrast with other top-level domain names, in order to register a .eu domain name, the applicant must be established within the European Community.
The Sunrise period opens on 7 December 2005 and is broken down into 2 stages, both lasting 2 months: stage 1 is open to owners or licensees of registered national trademarks and registered Community Trade Marks, as well to various public body related names; stage 2 is then open to owners of unregistered trade marks, business identifiers, distinctive titles of protected literary and artistic work, company names and trade names. Details and evidence of the right on which the application is made must be supplied to EURid.
Many accredited registrars are offering a pre-registration service in anticipation of the gold rush that will take place on 7 December, whereby the applicant can submit its application in advance, to be sent to EURid on the opening day of the sunrise period. Certain applicants may be aware of another person or entity entitled to register the same .eu domain name. For an extra fee, some registrars will guarantee a place in the first 50 or 100 applications that they submit to EURid, increasing the likelihood of being the first applicant with the relevant trade name to apply.
From 7 April 2006, any person or entity that is resident in the EC and complies with the terms and conditions laid down by EURid may apply for a .eu domain name through an accredited registrar.
Dispute resolution procedure
Applicants should be aware that, once a .eu domain name has been registered in their name, they are bound to enter into alternative dispute resolution if another party, with a recognised right, claims the registration was made in bad faith. Any disputes that arise will be resolved by the Czech Arbitration Court in the language of the registration agreement for the disputed domain name, although either party can request a different language. A respondent must submit a response within 30 days and a decision will be made within one month of the response. Any decision by the panel to revoke the disputed domain name or transfer it to the complainant will then be implemented by EURid within 30 days.