New .at domain names with one or two digits. Important date for trademark owners: September 23, 2016!

For the first time .at domain names may be registered with just one or two digits, so for example, or Ö, All combinations of all letters, numbers and mutated vowels are possible, resulting in a total number of 4965 new domain names

Sunrise Period for Trademark Owners

For trademark owners, this new development is highly relevant, especially if their trademarks consist of one or two digits. To prevent domain grabbers snatching domain names containing such trademarks, the registry for .at domains, namely, provides a three-phase Sunrise system, as this has proven itself successful in the past with the introduction of new domains:

Starting with August 29, 2016 by no later than September 23, 2016, you may claim a short domain for your trademark by providing evidence of that trademark being valid in Austria prior to July 1, 2015 and as of today – this might be an Austrian trademark, an EU trademark or an International Trademark protected in Austria. However, the mark must exactly match the domain name to be registered. Special characters are not possible.

Costs of Handling fees EUR 120,– and EUR 240,– in addition, if the domain name is awarded.

We would be glad to advise you and perform the domain name registration containing a trademark claim in Austria for you.

If multiple brand owners claim rights to the same domain name (most quoted example: for the telecom company A1 or the type designation of the Audi A1) then the domain will be auctioned amongst them  between October, 10 to 21 2016.

Public Auction in November

Anyone interested in short domain names having no corresponding one or two digit trademarks, might bid on the remaining domain names in a public auction from November 7, 2016 to December 6, 2016. This is also most relevant for trademark owners: Many companies have longer trademarks but use abbreviations without having acquired trademark protection for these (for example, because they are not distinctive). Companies at this stage can try to get hold of a short domain name.

Here, however, anyone can bid. Minimum bid is EUR 72, -.

Go live” on December 6, 2016

Thereafter, the remaining short domain names will be awarded according to the usual “first come, first served”-principle

Only at this point in time are the previously specified short domain names technically accessible and can be linked to a website.

Legal Protection

If another company registers and uses your trademark as a domain name, the general remedies are available to you, by pursuing this infringement by way of court action for domain grabbing or trademark infringement. However, this is often time-consuming and costly; the legal situation here does not always offer thorough protection, especially in case of domain grabbing (i.e. when the third party registers a domain name, but does not use it by linking it to a website). Trademark owners are well advised to act in the very first Sunrise Phase, and to secure their domain name.