'1664.no' soon to be available for registration
Norid, the operator of the '.no' registry, has announced that starting from today it will accept applications for domain names consisting of digits only.
During the transition period (from June 13 to 15 2007), Norid will receive the first digit-only applications and put them aside. It will then proceed to draw ballots for domain names for which more than one application is received. No matching trademark or company name will be required to participate in the transition period. On June 19 2007 the process will open for ordinary applications, which will be processed on a first come, first served basis.
Norid decided on the new policy due to the fact that domain names are associated more and more with company names and brands. Some companies have names or products consisting of digits only. For instance, the largest French brewery, Kronenbourg, now owned by Scottish & Newcastle plc, markets a popular beer under the brand 1664.
According to Norid, such companies have so far been forced to select a domain name combining letters and digits. The main reason that numerical domain names have been forbidden until now was the risk of technical confusion supposedly connected to the use of digits only. However, it would seem that this is no longer the case.
Norid intends to restrict the registration of some all-digit domain names; for example '113.no' will not be registrable because 113 is one of the national emergency telephone numbers used in Norway.
David Taylor and Charles Simon, Lovells LLP, Paris
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