Intellectual Property

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Client Update: Sun sets on sunrise period for .co domain names

8 June 2010

In brief: .co domain names will soon be available for registration. Until 10 June 2010 some owners of registered trade marks can take advantage of a 'sunrise period' to submit a priority registration application. Partner Tim Golder (view CV) and Senior Associate Jesse Gleeson look at what is involved.

Opening the .co domain

The nation of Columbia has recently decided to open up its country code top level domain .co (the equivalent of Australia's .au) for registration by international companies.

The registration of .co domain names is being marketed as an alternative for companies to .com registrations (similar to the nation of Tuvalu marketing its .tv country code top level domain space for use by television-related websites).

Trade mark owners may wish to register their trade marks to use these domain names, or as defensive registrations.  If not, there is a risk that cybersquatters will register .co domain names corresponding to prominent brands.  The .co domain names will be subject to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Procedure (UDRP), but disputes can be avoided by registering key domain names before a cybersquatter does.

Closing date

The 'sunrise period' in which some registered trade mark owners can submit priority registration applications closes on 10 June 2010.  To take advantage of this you must have a registered trade mark from anywhere in the world (with some exceptions not including Australia) which was in full force and effect on or before 30 July 2008.

If multiple persons have a registered trade mark for the same words (for instance in different jurisdictions or different classes) and apply for the same .co domain name, an auction will be held with the name going to the highest bidder.

After the expiration of the sunrise period there will be a 'landrush' phase where people can submit applications for .co domain names, and if multiple people nominate for the same name then an auction will be held.  This phase expires on 13 July 2010.  From 20 July 2010 .co domain names will be available on a 'first come first served' basis.

If you would like any assistance or advice on .co domain name registrations please do not hesitate to contact one of the people listed below.

For further information, please contact:

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