New '.pro' registry launches fresh sunrise period

International

Following its acquisition by Hostway Corp, RegistryPro - the operator for the '.pro' generic top-level domain (gTLD) - has announced the introduction of a new sunrise period to allow mark owners to make defensive registrations under the '.law.pro', '.med.pro' and '.cpa.pro' subdomains. The sunrise period will close on May 14 and registrations will open to the public in June.

RegistryPro accepted defensive registrations during a sunrise period last year (see Trademark owners benefit from '.pro' sunrise period). However, the gTLD did not open to the public in July 2003 as announced.

Under its new ownership, RegistryPro is offering trademark and service mark owners another opportunity to make defensive registrations under the '.law.pro', '.med.pro' and '.cpa.pro' subdomains. Registrants must be (i) lawyers, doctors and certified public accountants who are licensed to practice in one of the 50 US states or the District of Columbia, or (ii) organizations that provide accounting, legal or medical professional services and have an employee who is so licensed. Eligible trademark and service mark registrations must:

  • have been issued prior to September 30 2003;

  • have national effect (US state registrations are ineligible, but Canadian registrations would satisfy the requirement); and

  • contain text elements that are identical to the defensive name that is sought to be registered.

Registrants must self-certify their professional eligibility by providing licence and identity information, which can be independently cross-referenced against appropriate third-party or public databases through a review process by each '.pro' registrar.

A defensive registration will not resolve to a website but will allow registrants to (i) block domain names that exactly match their marks, and (ii) reserve the domain name for future use. Defensive registrations will have a duration of four years and will still be available after the sunrise period expires.

Following the sunrise period, other types of defensive registrations are likely to be offered to professionals located outside of the United States.

Last year's defensive registrations are still valid and will be honoured by RegistryPro under the original terms.

Dennis S Prahl, Ladas & Parry, New York

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