New: Uk-Domains with one and two letters
Previously unavailable short .co.uk, .me.uk, .org.uk and .net.uk domains open to applications from trade mark holders from 1st December 2010
Until today these uk-domains, which include single character domains (e.g. 1.co.uk, a.co.uk) and two letter domains (e.g. aa.co.uk), were ‘reserved’ and as such could not be registered.
Following a policy review, these uk-domains are now being made available.
Uk-domains are normally registered on a 'first come, first served' basis. However, due to the anticipated high level of demand, the registry will release these short uk-domains via a staged process of three stages:Sunrise I, Sunrise II and Landrush Period.
The 'Registered Rights Sunrise' period starts on December 1st and closes at January 17th 2011. During this time trade mark rights holders can apply for a uk-domain that matches their trade mark. As each application will be independently verified, applicants will need to provide evidence of using the trade mark in the UK prior to 1 January 2008.
The trade mark rights verification cost is £37 plus VAT for a single application for the first sunrise. Full fee details are available on the Nominet website. The deadline for submissions for the first sunrise window 17th January 2011. The evidence will be evaluated by an independent law firm on Nominet’s behalf.
If there is more than one verified application for these uk-domains, these domains will be auctioned to the highest bidder, with proceeds going to the Nominet Trust, an independently run charity.
The Uk-Domains not allocated will then go forward to a second sunrise period, when the rights qualification will be extended to unregistered rights holders. Any remaining uk-domains will proceed to a "landrush" period in which anyone can participate.
"There can be many trade marks, but only one domain name. So we're expecting these new domains will be hotly contested by individuals, companies and major brands. This release is an opportunity for savvy rights owners to get hold of valuable domain names" comments Nick Wenban-Smith, Senior Legal Counsel at Nominet and member of the project team for the short domains release.
"Having the .uk short domain URL can enhance brand value and increase customer access to businesses and individuals via search engines and beyond. We’ve developed the process to be fair as possible and look forward to active participation from trade mark holders in the first stage of the process."
The categories of uk-domains included in this release have different purposes: while.co.uk and .org.uk are open to all, .net.uk is reserved for network operators, and me.uk is intended for individuals.