.EU Domain Names?

Hey all -

Our U.S. company has a existing distributor channles in Europe, including Germany, the UK, Belgium, France, Spain and Italy.

We are looking at developing a web presence on the .EU TLD (but licensing our trademarks to our channel partners), but I can't get an answer to a burning question:

How well is the .eu domain going to be adpoted? Is this even worth it?
Are Europeans really going to start using it, or will they continue to use country-specific domains (.de, .co.uk, etc...) or .com sites?

Now I'm not talking just registering the domains - I mean acutally using them. As of now, I can't seem to find any major names using .eu (microsoft.eu, google.eu, yahoo.eu). Heck - I can't find anything using .eu other than the register (eurid.eu) and the appointed dispute resolution court (adr.eu).

Anyone have insight into this?

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desertcitiesConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Hi Zeroiq01,

I think it's in your best interest to register all .eu names that represent your trademark and business interests for the EU community.  The first phase of .eu registrations were reserved for citizens, companies and organisations, on a first-come basis, seated in one of the 25 EU member states.  These Sunrise Periods are named Landrush I and Landrush II.

I personally would protect my registered domain as in the long run it will cost you money and time to deal with the issue whether it's cybersquatting or misuse of your domain name and infringing upon your trademark.  In any event, you lose money and time is money.  So fight now and establish your ground, if needed.

Each day I hear stories of lost domains, both here in the U.S. and abroad, and the trouble and expense involved to get back one's lost domain.  It can be a daunting experience as you could be located in one country with business interests in another country and finding legal help to deal with any arbitration thousands of miles away.

While living here in America, it's hard to say if the .eu TLD will be as popular as the .com TLD.  Probably not.  However, some registars have reported up to 1 million .eu registrations already.  And at the low-cost to secure these .eu domains now, go for it and build up your domain portfolio.

Good Luck.

Bernard S.CTOCommented:
1 - Register the .eu domain even if you do not plan to actively use it. This will be a cheap way to avoid most potential disputes in case the .eu domain becomes something essential
2 - which is not today.
3 - However, I would recommend that you put at least a mini-site with some clickable map which would lead to your "national" sites.
4 - More generally, you can probably adopt a front-end/ back-end strategy: the .eu site role will be to establish common support material and information (eg, the one-stop place where to get adresses, phone number, email for your local subs and the aftersale service). National site would be for sales, local products, local addresses, informations in local languagae, etc. EU site would be for common material: knowledge base, corporate news, etc.

zeroiq01Author Commented:
OK - thanks. Let me expand a bit:

Our trademarked brand name hs been registered as an .EU TLD.

While I know we have clear rights to the name and the other party has no connections whatsoever (they may intend to use it in bad faith), I'm trying to determine if it's worth it to fight it using the dispute resolution process  - it costs about $2500 USD to file a claim.

That's what I'd like to find out wether anyone knows about how well the .EU TLD is being used in Europe.

Any other feedback on that?
Bernard S.Connect With a Mentor CTOCommented:
1 - As far as I know, there is a dispute resolution procedure that should be almost free to launch.
Explore the pages at http://adreu.eurid.eu/ 
I would certainly explore getting back the domain name. Maybe not going the full legal route with $Ks, but allocating some $hundreds to this process: doing it early is certainly cheaper that if you let the other guy develoop any business around this domain.
Since you have a trademarked brand name, I would suggest:
- explore the pages, search for criteria like trademarked names AND THEIR AREA OF TRADEMARK (your position is stronger if your have a trademark in a Eurocountry and the other guy has not)
- check if the other guy is running a site or any activity from this domain. GET SCREEN CAPTURES and dates just in casethey might be helpful later
- check if the other guy is already established as a "domainsquatter", ie has lots of registered domain which do not seem to be related to some legitimate business (other than squatting). A google search might show you that they have lost some trials already...
- approach the guy asking if he is OK to sell you the name, and make a proposal
- if this does not work, file a complaint to the ADR.

2 - .eu is quite recent and probably not much used today. BUT we are spreaking of the future, aren't we?
Bernard S.CTOCommented:
You will find at http://arbiter.wipo.int/domains/statistics/cumulative/results.html and on other pages of the sites that usually cybersquatters are deprived from the domains they unduly try to steal.
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