Following in the footsteps of the recent launch of the .eu top-level domain, new .asia domain names will be available for registration starting October 9, 2007. The .asia top-level domain, or "TLD", is intended for individuals, businesses, and organizations within the Pan-Asia and Asia-Pacific regions (the "AP Region"). Follow this link for a comprehensive list of countries making up the AP Region. Below are some details you may find useful in determining whether to register your trademark as a domain name in the .asia TLD.
The .asia TLD
- The .asia TLD is operated by DotAsia Organisation Limited. More information about DotAsia is available at www.dotasia.org.
- To be eligible to register a .asia domain name, and meet the .asia Charter Eligibility Requirement, at least one of the contacts associated with the domain registration must be an existing legal entity located or domiciled within the AP Region. This contact is designated the Charter Eligibility Declaration Contact ("CED Contact").
- The CED Contact may be either the registrant or an administrative, technical or billing contact. The definition of "legal entity" is broad and includes natural persons and juristic entities such as corporations, companies, cooperatives, partnerships, collectives, government bodies, states, sovereigns, municipalities, political parties, trade unions, trusts, estates, associations, societies and institutions. The designated CED Contact must provide documentation demonstrating its status as a legal entity located or domiciled within the AP Region, such as a passport, citizenship ID, certificate of incorporation or charter decree.
- As discussed below, the .asia TLD will be launched in four phases which are designed to allow government entities and trademark owners the opportunity to register their marks in .asia in advance of the general public.
- All applications must be submitted via an ICANN Accredited Registrar that is .asia Accredited or one of their affiliates. Follow this link for a list of such registrars.
- Domain prices vary from registrar to registrar based upon the suite of services provided. An application fee is charged per domain application to cover the cost of verification.
Sunrise Period — Phase I: Begins on October 9, 2007
Phase I gives priority to governments and their relevant bodies in the AP Region. Phase I is preceded by a pre-Sunrise period during which governments from the AP Region are invited to submit a list of relevant reserved domain names to the .asia Registry. This list may include, for example, names of countries, cities, municipalities, governments, government departments, and other domains that are directly derived from or related to official governmental initiatives. During Phase I, individual governments or authorized bodies may "activate" (i.e., register) domain names from the reserved domain list through ICANN Accredited Registrars. All applications must go through a verification process coordinated with Governmental Acknowledgement References (i.e., a representative of the corresponding government or an otherwise designated reference contact). Phase I applications will be processed and allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Note that Phase I commences together with Phase II, but will continue throughout Landrush
Sunrise Period — Phase II: Begins October 9, 2007
Phase II is intended to allow registered trademark owners to obtain domain names corresponding to the marks they own. Phase II applicants must meet the Charter Eligibility Requirement and must be the owner, co-owner or assignee of a valid trademark registered in a trademark office or registry corresponding to one of the localities described by the World Intellectual Property Organization ("WIPO") Standard ST.3 code. Follow this link for a list of these localities.
Phase II is divided into three sub-phases, each of which has its own beginning and ending date:
- Phase IIa (October 9, 2007 to October 30, 2007): Early bird sunrise for registered trademarks in demonstrable use and applied for before March 16, 2004. To qualify, the registration must be issued and valid upon filing the .asia application.
- Phase IIb (November 13, 2007 to January 15, 2008): General trademark sunrise for registered trademarks applied for before December 6, 2006. To qualify, the registration must be issued and valid upon filing the .asia application.
- Phase IIc (November 13, 2007 to January 15, 2008): Extended protection for registered trademarks before .asia domain names become more widely available in Phase III and live launch. In this phase, registered mark holders may obtain domain names that combine the registered mark with significant words from the class description for which the mark is registered. For more information, click here to see the Nice Classification system.
- Phase II applicants must submit trademark registration data, such as the registration number, application date and registration date, which will be verified by DotAsia. DotAsia has the authority to request further documentary evidence as it deems necessary.
All applications received during Phase II will be treated as received at the same time, and not on a first-come, first-served basis. If only one successfully verified applicant applies for a specific domain name, that applicant will receive it. If more than one applicant applies for the same domain name, all successfully verified applicants will be allowed to bid for that domain name in an auction. Before the auction takes place, each qualified bidder will be provided with the registration information of all other qualified bidders.
Sunrise Period — Phase III: November 13, 2007 to January 15, 2008
Phase III is intended to allow registered companies, organizations, societies and other entities in the .asia community to obtain domain names corresponding to their entity names. Domain names successfully applied for in Phase II take priority, and will thus not be available for Phase III applications. As with Phase II, all applications received during Phase III will be treated as received at the same time, and multiple applicants for the same domain name must bid for that name in an auction. Phase III applications will not be subject to verification, but DotAsia will check all documents submitted by the applicant for conformity.
Phase III applicants must submit complete registration information in relation to the applicant entity, such as the entity's registration number, the registration locality of the entity, the date on which the registered entity applied for registration and the date on which the entity was formally established by being duly registered. In addition, Phase III applicants must submit at least one of the following: i) the registration record of the applicant entity; ii) certificate of incorporation; iii) certificate of good standing; or iv) another equivalent certified document indicating that the entity is duly formed and in good standing. To qualify, the juristic entity must be registered on or before December 6, 2006.
Landrush Period: Expected to Begin in February 2008 During the "Landrush Period," residents of any of the member states of the AP Region may apply to register .asia domain names without submitting any evidence of prior rights in the name, provided they meet the Charter Eligibility Requirement. The .asia domain is scheduled to go live in March 2008.