What’s in a Name...?

What’s in a Name...?

No sooner has the EU Commission and the United Kingdom announced that they have agreed on a significant part of a draft Withdrawal Agreement, (which makes mention of intellectual property in Articles 50-57), than the Commission has issued a “Notice to Stakeholders” about .eu domain names. 
 
In this, the Commission gives a stark warning to the owners of .eu domain names that they must have a registered office or principal place of business in the EU otherwise they cannot validly own their names, and that the EU Registry for .eu domains can revoke domain name registrations of its own volition. There are over 300,000 .eu domain names currently registered in the UK that might be affected by this. 
 
However, the EU Registry seems not to have been forewarned by the European Commission that the Notice to Stakeholders was about to be published, and it has hastily published a notice on its website, stating that what the EU Commission says is subject to any transitional arrangement that may be agreed and included in the Withdrawal Agreement. 
 
The cancellation of 300,000 domain names would be a significant burden for the Registry.  On the other hand, the cancellation of a .eu domain name would be a significant problem for an unprepared business with its European headquarters in the UK. 
 
Our advice is to get prepared by ensuring that alternative names (e.g. .com) are registered, and websites and email addresses are all switched over, or ready to be switched over, by 29 March 2019, the date the UK will leave the EU.
 
Now we know why the name of EU Registry for .eu domain names is called “EURid”...

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