Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New .co Top Level Domain to be Made Available

(David M. Silverman, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP)

The .co top level domain (TLD) is being opened to the general public, and one can envision a run on registrations similar to that experienced for .com. It is easy to see why the Colombia country code, formerly available in that country only, may become very popular in the U.S. and elsewhere. For one thing, .co is the standard abbreviation for "company." It is also a very common misspelling of .com. It has been estimated that gets 15,000 hits per day by mistake.

From April 26 until June 10, a window will open in which only registered trademark owners will be able to register their marks in the .co TLD. Beginning in July, however, .co will be opened to the general public. We suggest that any companies with registered marks protect those marks in the .co TLD in April, and those that do not should register their call signs, company names or nicknames as soon as possible in July. If someone else registers your call sign or company name in the .co TLD before you do, it could be very difficult and costly to recover it. Read more here.