Nominet launches consultation on new .uk domain names

Posted on

Nominet is a public purpose internet company which has been running the .uk country code Top Level Domain name registry since 1996.

Nominet is considering the possibility of a new service known as direct.uk which would allow parties to omit the .co element and register domain names such as barkerbrettell.uk.  An advantage of the .uk domain system will be that if, for some reason, you were unable to register a .co.uk domain for your brand, a .uk domain would provide you with a further opportunity in respect of obtaining a domain name for the brand. 

In addition, the new service would offer one of the most comprehensive packages of security features available, including verification to check a registrant has a UK address, daily monitoring for malicious software and viruses and a digital signature which minimises the risks of a domain name being hijacked.

At present, Nominet does not intend to give existing .co.uk users first refusal on a .uk equivalent. Under the current proposals the .uk domain is considered to be an addition to the .uk namespace, rather than a transition.  In addition, there are thousands of cases where existing registrations are not unique, for example shop.co.uk and shop.org.uk are owned by two different companies.

If there are competing interests for a .uk domain, Nominet is considering the possibility of a sunrise phase which would respect existing trade marks and recognise unregistered rights.  Nominet will also confer unregistered rights status on any existing .uk domains currently used by UK businesses, for example .org.uk, provided evidence of use could be shown prior to the qualifying date. Nominet would also operate a dispute resolution service in this respect.

Nominet is operating a three month consultation period on the possible introduction of this new service.  Any comments you may have in this regard should be filed by 7 January 2013 with Nominet.  Further information can be found on Nominet’s website.