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New Top-Level Domain Name Available

MSK Client Alert
October 30, 2001

The new top-level domain .NAME, designed exclusively for individuals, is now available for registration. Individuals interested in registering their personal names as domain names for the Internet may apply for a .NAME domain name registration (e.g., The personal name of a fictional character also is eligible for a .NAME domain name registration, provided the registrant owns trademark rights in that fictional name. In addition, an e-mail forwarding service will be available to .NAME domain name registrants (subject to a separate application and subscription).

Two procedures have been instituted to protect the rights of trademark owners. These procedures are designed to thwart cybersquatting and domain name speculation. First, trademark owners may subscribe to a NameWatch service, which will notify them if any of their trademarks are registered in a .NAME domain name or e-mail forwarding address. Second, trademark owners may preclude the registration of .NAME domain names comprised of their trademarks entirely by applying for a Defensive Registration. Defensive Registrations can be obtained during the Sunrise Period – scheduled for October 5, 2001 to November 12, 2001 – or after the .NAME registry goes live on December 13, 2001. In order to qualify for the registration of a domain name during the Sunrise Period, the trademark must have been registered in a national trademark office prior to April 16, 2001.

Through November 12, 2001, anyone can apply for the registration of one or more .NAME domain names. On December 13, 2001, the .NAME registry goes live, and, thereafter, applications to register .NAME domain names will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

For assistance with, or questions concerning, applications for .NAME registrations, subscriptions to the NameWatch service, or applications for Defensive Registrations, please contact a member of the Intellectual Property & Technology practice group.

Important .NAME Dates To Remember

Date Action
November 12, 2001 Deadline to subscribe to NameWatch service and/or apply for Defensive Registrations
November 22, 2001 Deadline to file domain name applications and subscribe to e-mail forwarding service
December 13, 2001 .NAME registry scheduled to go live


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