'.kr' domain opens to registration in Korean script

South Korea

The '.kr' country-code top-level domain has opened to registrations in Korean script. During a sunrise period ending on September 29, the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) and Korea's country-code top-level domain manager KrNIC are giving priority to the registration of public institution names, and registered trademarks and trade names. From October 7 to October 20, all social and business entities will be able to register one domain name each. From November 4, registrations will be open to the public at large on a first come, first served basis.

During the sunrise period, applications containing trademarks are checked against the database of the Korea Intellectual Property Office while trade names are checked against the commercial register of the Supreme Court of Korea before they are officially registered. Duplicate registrations will be settled by means of a lottery.

Private companies have registered domain names in Korean script for some time, but as this was not associated with a standardized system, a number of problems arose, including not being able to connect to the websites from certain locations. In contrast, the system supported by KrNIC follows an international standard that converts the language used to display Korean script to the system used to display Latin characters. The only downside is that some browsers (including Internet Explorer) and email programs do not yet support this international standard. Users must therefore install separate plug-in programs, downloadable from the MIC website and other sources.

Yoon Bae Kim, Kims & Lees, Seoul

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