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A Trademark Sunrise for One Character Domain Names?

September 13, 2010Domaining, Domainnamewire, nominet, Policy & Law, trademark sunriseComments Off on A Trademark Sunrise for One Character Domain Names?

Plan sends wrong message about trademarks and domain names.

Nominet, which oversees the .uk namespace, will begin releasing one and two character third level .uk domain names later this year.

The process for releasing the domain names includes two trademark sunrise periods. A sunrise period is smart for the release of most new TLDs, as it gives rights holders the ability to protect their brands. But a sunrise for one and two character domains? That seems silly. It’s ridiculous to suggest that a one or two letter trademark can cover the entire spectrum of goods and services.

I can think of a couple short trademarks, such as HP. Should computer giant HP get hp.co.uk? Well, they actually already own it. But let’s assume this is one of the domains that was being released. Why would you hand over a two letter combination to a single company based on a trademark? It seems that there are many uses for any two letter combination, and restricting domain ownership to someone who has a trademark for one doesn’t add up in my book.

Interestingly, Nominet will hold two sunrise periods. The second one includes an “oh shit” period for people who missed the first deadline, as well as people with unregistered rights to these short monikers that can convince a panelist to hand the domain over to them.


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