What you need to know about the new “.eu” domain names

What you need to know about the new “.eu” domain names

The ".eu" country level domain is the new domain name space specifically for the European Community. This article describes the registration criteria and process for the new space.

Who can apply?

All applicants, whether applying during the Sunrise period, or in the open registration period, must meet the general eligibility criteria which fall into three categories:

  1. Undertakings having their registered office, central administration or principal place of business within the European Community;
  2. Organisation established within the European Community without prejudice to the application of national law; and
  3. Natural persons resident within the European Community.

Launch timetable

There are three phases to the launch of “.eu”:

  1. Sunrise – Phase 1 – runs from 7 December 2005 to 6 February 2006
  2. Sunrise – Phase 2 – runs from 7 February 2006 to 6 April 2006
  3. Open registration – commences 7 April 2006

What is the sunrise period?

Prior to commencing “.eu” registration on a general “first come first served” basis, there will be Sunrise period to allow organisations to protect their domain names against abusive registration by cyber-squatters. During the Sunrise periods, domain names will be made available only to holders of “prior rights”. The Sunrise period has been divided into two phases:

  1. Phase 1 – is open only to public bodies and the holders of European registered national or registred community (EU) trade marks. It is important to note that the domain name must be supported by a registered (not pending) word mark. Composite marks which feature the word mark and a device/logo, will not be accepted.
  2. Phase 2 – open to holders of other “prior rights” which may include owners of company names, business identifiers, and unregistered trade marks and trade names.

What is the application process?

All applications must be submitted through an accredited “.eu” registrar. When the “.eu” registry opens for the Sunrise period on 7 December 2005, accredited registrars will compete in an “electronic lottery” and will submit domain name applications from their queue into the registry. The registry will select a registrar at random and will accept the first application in that registrar’s queue. The domain names will then be allocated on a “first come first served” basis and the registry will proceed to accept the first application in each other registrar’s queue. The process will then be repeated for the next name in each registrar’s queue.

A successful applicant will be required to submit documentary evidence of the prior right claim within 40 days from the application. If this is not provided, or if the documentary evidence fails to meet the criteria, then the application will be rejected and the next domain name in the queue will be reviewed.

Is there a challenge process?

Any party may initiate an ADR procedure against the party to whom a “.eu” domain name is allocated if the criteria for speculative and abusive registrations, as set out in Article 21 of the Public Policy Rules are met.

What is the open registration period?

The open registration period will commence at the closure of the sunrise period. All applications will be assessed on a “first come first served” basis.