TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Europe's Own Internet Space Now Open For Business

Europe's Own Internet Space Now Open For Business

Reuters News Wire (
Tue, 6 Dec 2005 22:37:10 -0600

Trademark holders and government bodies can start claiming their
European identities on the Internet from 1000 GMT on Wednesday, when
the registers open for the new ".eu" domain name aimed at boosting
European e-commerce.

The first steps toward a European Internet domain were taken in 1999
and later supported by the European Commission to encourage
cross-border electronic commerce within the Union.

"This is the first time we see a geographic top level domain shared by
multiple countries. It creates an e-commerce trading block the EU
hopes to benefit by," said David Saias, vice president of sales for, one of the big registrar companies with which requests
for domain names can be filed.

New EU member states such as Poland, which want a bigger presence on
the Web, can use the ".eu" domain to be more visible and easier to
find, he said.

But even in the traditional EU nations such as Germany, many companies
currently register their Internet name under the national ".de" name
instead of the ".com" space which is associated with American or
global organizations.

If successful, the ".eu" domain could become the de facto domain for
all European organizations, which would make it easier for companies
and consumers to find and approach companies outside their home
countries, Saias said.

"This '.eu' domain is a geographic marketing tool," he said.

For the first two months, close to 500 registrar companies will take
down claims only for registered trademarks, public bodies and
geographical locations in the European Union.

Companies, trade names, business identifiers and literary works can be
registered for two months after that.

Starting April 7, all individuals within the 25 European Union member
states can start filing their requests, said the not-for-profit EURid
organization which keeps the database for the .eu domain names.

The European Union had demanded a "sunrise period" before open
registration to avoid "cybersquatting," which could result in
trademarks being registered by parties other than their owners or
companies having to pay massive amounts to buy their Internet domain
names from speculators.

During the sunrise period, evidence of prior rights such as trademarks
will be checked by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited.

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