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Following Nominet’s recent introduction of the .UK domain name extension, there has been some confusion on the repercussions, if any, for businesses particularly those that already have a domain name. In light of this situation, today’s article will highlight 10 key facts that you need to know about the new .UK domain and help you make a decision on whether to claim yours or not.

In recent months, we have seen the introduction of new and unconventional domain name extensions such as .CLUB, .ME, .BID, .LONDON, .TRADE and .WEBCAM. However, for different reasons, many webmasters still appear unconvinced by some of these alternative domain names. Whether the .UK domain will be any different is anyone’s guess but the early signs are very promising. Indeed, current expectations are that .UK is set to become the new standard for UK-based websites. If so, this will bring us in line with other large country-code Web registries such as .FR for France and .de for Germany.

Point 1: .UK will be available alongside existing UK domain names including .CO.UK and .ORG.UK.

Point 2: Owners of existing UK domain names (see table below) will have a right of first refusal over .UK domain names that are equivalent to those they already have registered.

Point 3: If there are multiple equivalent domain names in existence on 10 June 2014 e.g. .CO.UK and .ORG.UK registered by various parties, the order of priority (see table below) will apply to determine who will have the right to the equivalent .UK domain name.

domain priority table

Point 4: The right of first refusal is expected to last for 5 years (10 June 2014 to 10 June 2019), provided that the registration of the initial domain name is maintained.

Point 5: If the existing domain name is transferred, the right to the .UK domain name will be transferred with it.

Point 6: If the owner of the existing domain name does not register the .UK domain name by 10 June 2019, it will become available for the public to register on a first-come, first-served basis.

Point 7: Domain name owners will only benefit from rights in relation to domain names that are identical to their current domain name.

Point 8: Once Nominet has allocated the rights to a .UK domain name, the owner of any lower ranking existing domain name will from then on be treated as member of the public and have to compete on a first-come, first-served basis.

Point 9: There are only 2 situations where the .UK domain name will become available for the public to register. First, when the right of first refusal lapses. Second, if there is no existing UK domain name equivalent to the new .UK domain name.

Point 10: Retail prices of the .UK domain names are expected to be similar to those for .CO.UK.

When considering whether the .UK domain name is right for you, you should also think about the possible repercussions of not protecting your brand from third parties particularly cyber-squatters who thrive in these circumstances. For brand owners, there is no doubt that every step should be taken to protect your brand in light of .UK’s introduction. If you want to take advantage of your right of first refusal and claim your .UK domain name extension, call us now on 01383 521080 or email [email protected] and we will be happy to help.

Internet Creation Ltd. specialises in Web Design & Development, Graphics Design and Digital Marketing (SEO & PPC). For more information on how we can help your business, email [email protected].