Deadline for renewal approaches as '.tm' domain space reopens

Turkmenistan

The .tm Domain Name Registry (NIC.tm), a new registry for the country-code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Turkmenistan, has reopened the '.tm' domain space. The domain space has obvious attractions for trademark owners since 'TM' is the abbreviation for 'trademark'. When the '.tm' ccTLD was created in 1997 it proved to be so popular that in 1998 the previous registry was forced to stop accepting new registrations.

Trademark owners intending to register domain names with NIC.tm should bear the following in mind:

  • The term for new registrations is 10 years at a cost of $1,000.

  • Registration is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Partial refunds are available for registrants who surrender their registrations prior to the 10-year expiration date.

  • There is no requirement that registrants have any connection with Turkmenistan.

  • Disputes involving '.tm' domain names are handled by World Intellectual Property Organization panellists pursuant to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy.

  • NIC.tm will reserve the domain names of companies whose registrations expired under the previous registry until March 21 2003. After that deadline, domain names that have not been renewed will be made available to the general public.

NIC.tm may not experience the wave of applications for '.tm' domain names that its predecessor experienced from 1997 to 1998. The internet bubble has since burst and the expense of maintaining and enforcing a '.tm' ccTLD may now be seen by many trademark owners as an unnecessary extravagance.

Karin Segall, Darby & Darby, New York

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