With the current release of the new domain extensions (nTLDs), and the 1,400 possible new extensions coming, it’s important to protect your trademark or intellectual property.
When new domain extensions or “strings” are made available for registration on the internet, it is typically in three stages that they are released: sunrise, land rush, and general availability.
There will be some registries that will restrict who can register domains, while others will make their domains available to the general public. Each registry can have it’s own criteria or regulations regarding the registration and use of their TLD.
The sunrise period allows applicants to apply for domains through accredited registrars, such as Namesonic.com, if the domains meet certain criteria. Sunrise applications typically require a registered trademark on the string for which the applicant applies. In the caseof the nTLD, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will offer a Trademark Clearinghouse, which will allow trademark holders to protect their trademark. Registries may also offer an additional sunrise period which allows owners of strings under an alternate TLD to apply for the same string in the nTLD they manage.
Sunrise period registrations typically cost more than general availability registrations. However, the sunrise period is the ideal time to secure a valuable domain.The sunrise period is followed by the landrush period. This is the period during which domain names become available without trademark or alternate TLD restriction.
After the landrush period the nTLDs will enter the general availability period. This is the period when domains do not have any additional restrictions, and the registry charges their standard rate to registrars.