'.hu' registration rules change - without a sunrise period
The rules applying to the registration of '.hu' country-code top-level domain names (ccTLDs) changed on March 1. Under the new rules, applicants from the European Union now follow the same registration procedures as Hungarian applicants - they no longer need to submit evidence of a "right in the name" in the form of a Hungarian trademark certificate matching the denomination requested, as was previously the case. However, a Hungarian trademark registration will still be necessary for entities and individuals based outside of the European Union.
Under the new rules, '.hu' ccTLDs are available on a first come, first served basis to both European Union and Hungarian applicants, who will simply have to submit proof of identity. Companies or other entities need to provide their registration documents and individuals need to provide a statement containing a valid passport or identity card number signed by two witnesses.
Applicants still need to supply details of a locally-based administrative contact for the purposes of communication with the registry in Hungarian.
The rules for the registration of second-level domains, such as '.co.hu' or '.info.hu', have not changed. These domains were already available for registration by entities or individuals based inside or outside of Hungary without a valid Hungarian trademark certificate.
The Council of Hungarian Internet Service Providers, the '.hu' registry, has also announced that a new alternative dispute resolution procedure will be implemented in relation to names registered on or after March 1 2005. It seems that this procedure will be based upon the existing Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy procedure.
The registry appears to have chosen not to offer a sunrise period for trademark owners prior to the change of rules. It is therefore imperative that the holders of well-known marks register them as '.hu' ccTLDs as soon as possible in order to reduce the risk of cybersquatting.
David Taylor, Lovells, Paris
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