DotAsia to release one and two-character domain names

International

In August 2011 DotAsia, the registry for ‘.asia’ domain names, submitted a proposal to ICANN for the release of one and two-character domain names which were previously reserved by the registry. On February 29 2012 ICANN approved DotAsia’s proposed amendment to allocate one and two-ASCII character names, and DotAsia has now published its release and allocation policies for these domain names.

DotAsia is proposing to release one and two-character domain names similar to the original ASCII sunrise and landrush periods in 2007/2008. As such, the release of one and two-character domain names will be in four phases:

  • Phase 1: pioneer programme - interested applicants will be required to submit requests for proposal, detailing their specific plans for the use and promotion of a particular one and two-character domain name. Any applicant who satisfied the requirements for the Community Pioneers, Global Brand Pioneers and Social Pioneers programme in 2007 will be eligible to apply for one and two-character domain names in this phase.
  • Phase 2: sunrise for trademark holders - this second phase will be open to trademark holders of one and two-character names. In order to participate in the sunrise period, the registered trademark which is being used to support the application for the domain name must have been registered prior to February 29 2012. Should there be more than one application for the same domain name, an auction will be held between the competing applicants.
  • Phase 3: landrush - this third phase will be for those domain names not allocated during the pioneer and sunrise phases. Where more than one application is received for a domain name, an auction will be held between the competing applicants.
  • Phase 4: public auctions - for any one and two-character domain names that have not been allocated during phases 1, 2 and 3, auctions will be held for domain names with the domain names being allocated to the highest bidder.

The exact dates for all of the four phases have yet to be announced.

The ‘.asia’ extension was released in 2007/2008 and is aimed at individuals or organisations based in Asia, similar to ‘.eu’ which is aimed at those with a presence within the European Union. There are currently over 500,000 ‘.asia’ domain name registrations.

David Taylor and Tony Vitali, Hogan Lovells LLP, Paris

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