In the UK, Nominet has announced that previously restricted 'short' domain names comprising of single and double characters (0-9 and a-z) will now be available for registration under .co.uk, .org.uk, .net.uk and .me.uk. Due to the likely high demand for these domain names, a 'Sunrise Phase' will be used to ensure legitimate prior rights holders are given preference. The 'Sunrise phase' process is as follows:
- The Registered Rights phase will be open between 1 December 2010 and 17 January 2011. Only owners and licensees of trade marks that meet the following criteria will be able to apply in this phase:
- the trade mark exactly matches the domain name being applied for (excluding co.uk or any other suffix) and was in force as of 1 January 2008; and
- the trade mark owner can provide evidence of bona fide use in the UK on or prior to 1 January 2008 to be assessed by an independent rights assessor.
- The Unregistered Rights phase is for applicants with unregistered rights which exactly match the domain name being applied for (excluding co.uk or any other suffix). Applicants will also have to provide evidence of bona fide use in the UK on or prior to 1 January 2008. Further details and the dates of this phase are to be released in early 2011.
- The Landrush phase will enable interested parties to register any remaining short domain names.