David J Sanfey November 22 2001 Irish Domain Registry Relaxes Rules A&L Goodbody | E-commerce - Ireland David J Sanfey E-commerce Generic Name Applications Territorial Scope Trademark Applications Real and Substantive Connection Personal Trading Name Discretionary Category IE Domain Registry Limited (IEDR), the company in charge of the .ie country-code top-level domain (ccTLD), has announced a radical overhaul of its rules on naming in the .ie domain effective November 5 2001. The IEDR has announced relaxations of its policies in relation to: generic name applications; the territorial scope of the .ie domain; applications on the basis of trademarks; amendment of the 'real and substantive connection' test; the introduction of a new personal trading name application category; and the discretionary application category.Generic Name ApplicationsThe IEDR's previous policies prohibited the registration of names which could be classified as generic (eg, www.wine.ie). This was the case even where an application otherwise complied with the naming policies of the IEDR. The IEDR will now permit the registration of generic names subject to a discretionary safeguard against cybersquatting/warehousing. It remains to be seen how this will be implemented in practice.Territorial ScopeApplicants for .ie domains may now qualify on the basis of a real and substantive connection with Ireland north and south (as opposed to the Republic of Ireland). This is facilitative and allows businesses and individuals to determine whether a .ie domain would be useful or beneficial for them. Trademark ApplicationsThe IEDR has clarified the basis for applications grounded on registered marks by including community trademarks, allowing applications on foot of registered marks regardless of whether a company is trading in Ireland, and allowing applications on the basis of pending trademark applications (subject to certain safeguards).Real and Substantive ConnectionIn common with many other ccTLDs, the IEDR requires the existence of a real and substantive connection with Ireland (as redefined to mean the whole island of Ireland) before it will allow registration of .ie domains. This policy change clarifies the position in situations where businesses trade actively with Ireland but may have no other formal ties with the country (eg, a subsidiary, branch, place of business or registered business name), and permits registration in such circumstances subject to provision of supporting documentation. Personal Trading NameIndividuals trading on their own account under their own personal name may now apply for registration subject to the provision of supporting documentation designed to ensure all applications are in good faith. A prime example of potential applicants whom this change may benefit would be artists of all disciplines (eg, novelists and actors). Discretionary CategoryThe discretionary category of application has been redrafted to facilitate applicants that are unable to apply the existing rules. Potential applicants are stated to be clubs, religious orders, residents associations and others. For further information on this topic please contact David Sanfey at A & L Goodbody by telephone (+353 1 649 2000) or by fax (+353 1 649 2649) or by email ([email protected]).