Trademark owners have until November 17, 2010 to submit priority applications for Cyrillic domain names ending in .COM.UA and .KIEV.UA. The company charged with managing .UA domain names, Hostmaster Ltd., recently announced the start of a Sunrise Period during which brand owners may register their marks, provided they are: (1) composed of Cyrillic characters; and (2) registered in the Ukraine (a Madrid System registration covering the Ukraine should also suffice). The domain name requested must match the Registrant’s Cyrillic trademark exactly.
After the Sunrise Period
After the conclusion of the Sunrise Period, from November 19 to December 19, 2010, set-term domain name registrations of ten (10) years will be accepted, with the option to renew following the expiry of the original term. Finally, open registration is slated to commence on December 21, 2010. It is hoped that rolling out Cyrillic .COM.UA and .KIEV.UA. domain names in this way will deter cyber-squatting.
General Eligibility Rules
There are few restrictions on who may register a new Cyrillic domain name. Notably:
- The Registrant may be a natural or legal person;
- Following the current Sunrise Period, owning a corresponding trademark will not be a prerequisite to registering a domain name ending in .COM.UA or .KIEV.UA, although this may be subject to change; and
- The Registrant does not have to be a resident of the Ukraine, with the exception that in order to reserve a domain name ending in .KIEV.UA, a Registrant must have “legitimate interests within the territory determined by the administrative boundary of Kiev and [the] Kiev region”. A similar requirement is not anticipated with respect to domain names ending in .COM.UA.
Choice of Cyrillic Domain Names
A Registrant’s choice of Ukrainian Cyrillic domain names is subject to certain limitations. Specifically:
- The domain name must be composed of Cyrillic characters, and at least one of these characters must not have a visually similar counterpart in the Latin alphabet. This last requirement may prove challenging to brand owners whose Cyrillic marks are composed entirely of characters resembling Latin letters, such as in Україна (“Ukraine”).
- The domain name cannot contain auxiliary characters, including apostrophes ( ' ).