There will soon be a new TLD available for domain name
shoppers. .asia will become available to any business or individual that would
like to register a domain with a .asia extension. Before general registration
is available, however, the DotAsia authority is implementing certain policies
to prevent cybersquatters and others from getting first crack at certain
Known as “sunrise provisions,” these policies are intended
to protect trademark holders and others with interests in protecting their
names. The process is set in three separate categories. First, “governments in
the community” may reserve and register domains. The second phase allows Registered
Mark owners to obtain domains corresponding to the marks they own; and Sunrise
Phase 3 allows registered companies, organizations and other entities in the
DotAsia Community to obtain domains corresponding to their entity names.
These procedures were implemented in part due to the
problems seen in the .euro registration, where the registration process was
simply opened up and led to a free-for-all in name registrations. Many mark
holders were then embroiled in battles to recover their names.
Bottom Line: The sunrise provisions are great news for
trademark holders who were often thrown to the wolves when it came time to
protect their marks when new TLDs were introduced. On the other hand, domain
name investors will not be excited about these provisions. If the sunrise
provisions prove successful it is a safe bet that future provisions will be in
place for future TLD roll outs.
Even with these provisions, however, it is unlikely that
domain name investors will be totally deterred. Many mark holders will fail to
take the necessary actions at the appropriate times to protect their marks.
Even if every mark holder did act in a timely manner, there will still be ample
supply of names for investors.