Beginning October 9, 2007, eligible brand owners and companies can apply for the new .asia domain name, the Asian counterpart of the popular .eu domain name for Europe, ahead of its official launch in March 2008.
To be eligible for an .asia domain name, at least one of the contacts associated with the domain name registration (i.e. the registrant, administrative, technical or billing contact) must be a legal entity in one of the countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including the Middle East but not Russia.
The initial period for registering the .asia domain name is divided into the following sessions:
- Early Bird Sunrise
From October 9, 2007 to October 30, 2007, owners of registered trademarks applied on or before March 16, 2004 may register domain names corresponding to their registered trademarks.
- General Registered Marks
From November 13, 2007 to January 15, 2008, owners of registered trademarks applied on or before December 6, 2007 may register domain names corresponding to their registered trademarks.
- Extended Protection
From November 13, 2007 to January 15, 2008, owners of registered trademarks eligible for 1. and 2. above may register domain names comprising of their registered trademarks plus wording from the class descriptions in the Nice Classification system of goods and services. For example, "dorseylaw.asia".
- Registered Entity Names
From November 13, 2007 to January 15, 2008, entities registered in the region (e.g. companies) on or before December 6, 2007 may register domain names corresponding to their registered names.
Unlike the soft launch of most other new domain names, applications for .asia domain names received during the initial registration period will not be processed on a first-come-first-served basis. Rather, domain names with more than one qualified applicant will be allocated by auctions.
.asia domain name is an important intellectual property asset and effective marketing tool for the Asia-Pacific market. If you are interested in registering your .asia domain names, or would like assistance relating to your domain name portfolio in Asia, please contact a member of our Trademark practice group
Originally appeared in Dorsey's Intellectual Property Update