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Archived updates for Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Get .EU Domain Names without a European Facility

According to my colleague Harold Marquis, it may still be possible to register a .EU domain name even if the owner of the corresponding trademark in the U.S. does not have a European trademark registration, or a physical presence or licensee in Europe.

EC Regulation No 733/2002 states that only the following categories of companies, organisations and individuals will be able to register a .eu domain:
  1. undertakings having their registered office, central administration or principal place of business within the European Community;
  2. organisations established within the European Community without prejudice to the application of national law; and
  3. natural persons resident within the European Community.
However, according to Section 12(2) of the 2004 Public Policy Rules, "During the first part of phased registration [starting december 7], only registered national and Community trademarks, geographical indications, and the names and acronyms referred to in Article 10(3), may be applied for as domain names by holders or licensees of prior rights and by the public bodies mentioned in Article 10(1)."

In order to comply with these rules, at least one European law firm has established a licensing subsidiary with a physical presence in Europe that is ethically and legally bound to preserve domain name registrations for their non-European clients. Various firms have also pointed out that they can often obtain a trademark registration through the Benelux Trademark Office within about 48 hours.

More information on the .EU sunrise period beginning December 7, 2005 is available here.
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Anonymous Dominique Hubart said...

In the Benelux, it is indeed possible to obtain an accelerated trademark registration, in 24 to 48 hours. Furthermore, if the client is more interested by the .eu domain name than by the trademark itself, the choice of classes is of minor importance. We have even seen clients registering trademarks in rather strange classes, far from their real activities, in order to avoid the rsik of having the registration refused for lack of distinctiveness.

December 01, 2005 3:28 AM  
Blogger Dominique said...

You ought to be careful, though. According to reliable sources, there would be a mistake in the Policy Rules, hence a risk of litigation at a later stage...

December 01, 2005 3:58 AM  

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