July 5, 2007 (HOSTSEARCH.COM) Domain names with the new .Asia extension will be available from October 9, 2007, it was announced yesterday. The first round of domain name registrations will be made available to brand owners who wish to secure their trademarks. .Asia domains will be made available to the public in February 2008. Given the problems experienced during the launch of .EU domains, businesses are being urged to register domains to protect themselves from speculators.
With the launch date confirmed, British businesses need to ensure they protect their brands from the new threats and maximize any opportunities to build their brands in the growing Asian market, explained British-based NetNames (http://www.netnames.co.uk/) Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Robinson. Many brands lost out in dramatic fashion during the launch of .EU because they didnt take the issue seriously enough until the eleventh hour.
The first application period will be open to businesses and government bodies in countries in Asia. Beginning November 13, 2007, the second round will allow companies that have registered trademarks to secure additional domain names related specifically to their line of business (e.g. Nike will also be able to register niketennisshoes.asia). The domain will then open to the public in February 2008.
The .Asia registry has developed a thorough registration procedure designed to avoid many of the problems encountered during the free-for-all launch of .EU, added Mr. Robinson. Businesses will need to demonstrate they have genuine trademarks, and have been established for very specific periods of time to qualify for the .Asia domain name before it gets opened up to the general public. It will take some time to get applications completed and lodged properly and there will still be plenty of competition for the same domain names from companies all over the globe, so marketers and brand managers need to prepare their applications sooner rather than later.
ICANN registered NetNames is one of the first companies that has been granted permission to manage the .Asia domain. The company is responsible for managing and protecting online brands for international corporates, including of 30% of the FTSE 100.