.info Frequently Asked Questions

This section provides answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the registration of .info domain names.

What does the .info domain stand for?
The .info domain is one of the seven new generic top-level domains approved by ICANN to make up for the shortage of names in .com .net .org namespace.

The .info domain can represent the short form of the word "information" in many languages, but essentially it is the one new unrestricted domain and as such the one true .com alternative.

Who can register .info domains?
The .info domain is targeted at individuals, small businesses and Global 1000 corporations. It is also the only "unrestricted" domain out of the seven new gTLDs.

Anybody will be eligible to register a .info domain name when the registry goes live in early October. Until then, during the "Sunrise" period from July 25, 2001 - August 27, 2001, only registered trademark holders are eligible to register .info domain names.

Are the registration requirements for .info different than those for .com, .net and .org?
The only difference in registration requirements is:

  • during the .info sunrise period: only trademark holders can apply and a minimum registration period of five years will be enforced
  • after the .info sunrise period, the minimum registration period will be two years

These requirements have been set by the registry and are meant to dissuade "squatters" from registering domains.

Who runs the registry for .info domain names?
Affilias, a consortium of 18 registrars, has been authorized to run the .info registry. Tucows, our partner, is one of the 18 registrars with a stake in Affilias.

How will name disputes be resolved?
Affilias will use ICAAN's UDRP (uniform dispute resolution process) to resolve any disputes related to the registration of .info domain names.

Who is eligible to register a domain during the Sunrise period?
Owners of any current trademark or service mark that have national effect prior to October 2, 2000 are eligible to register a domain name during the Sunrise period. The domain name must be identical to the textual elements of the trademark or service mark. The domain name must conform to standard rules for domain names:

  • Only characters in the range A to Z, 0 to 9 and hyphen are allowed
  • Names can not begin or end with a hyphen
  • The maximum length is 63 characters (exclusive of the .info portion)
  • Trademarks or service marks incorporating any design elements are not eligible for registration during the Sunrise Period.

When will the Sunrise period start?
The Sunrise period will start on July 25, 2001. This is still tentative from the registry. The Sunrise period is scheduled to last for a minimum of 30 days. The Sunrise period is expected to begin July 25, 2001 and end August 27, 2001. This is still tentative from the registry.
 
Can I transfer a domain registered during the Sunrise period?
Afilias will lock domain names registered during the Sunrise period at the registry level for a period of approximately 180 days following the end of the Sunrise period. The only exceptions are for transfers required as a result of: a successful challenge, a decision in a UDRP administrative proceeding, or an order from any court of competent jurisdiction. In addition, names subject to one or more pending challenges may not be transferred.

What is the process of registering a domain during the Sunrise period?
Trademark and service mark holders interested in registering their marks during the Sunrise Period can submit their requests through a Tucows Reseller. In addition to the regular contact and name server information required for normal domain name registrations, domains registered during the Sunrise period must also include the following trademark/service mark information:

  • The ASCII characters composing the trademark or service mark.
  • The date the trademark/service mark was issued.
  • The country where the trademark was registered.
  • The trademark/service mark number.

In the event that separate applicants submit registration requests for identical trademarks, the first request (as selected after a randomization process), to be processed by the registry that meets the criteria for a Sunrise registration will be awarded the domain name.

What are the registration terms for domains registered during the Sunrise period?
Sunrise domains will only be accepted for a registration term of a minimum of five years and up to a maximum of ten years.

What are the registration fees during the Sunrise period?
Registration fees are $35.00 USD per domain per year. However, Afilias requires the minimum registration to be five years in the Sunrise period. Therefore total registration fees are 5 X $35.00 or $175.00.

When can I start using a domain registered during the Sunrise period?
Domains registered during the Sunrise period will be placed "on hold" and will not be resolvable in the DNS. Sunrise domains will be resolvable approximately 7 days after the start of the Start-Up period. Afilias has adopted this policy in order to ensure the most fair and equitable process and allow all registrations in the .info domain to resolve at the same time.

What dispute process will be used for domains registered during the Sunrise period?
Disputes for domains registered during the Sunrise period will be resolved according to the Sunrise Challenge process.

Who is eligible to register a domain during the Start-Up period?
As .info is the only new unrestricted top-level domain, anyone may register a domain name for any purpose.

Are there any specifications on the .info domain that I am allowed to register?
Yes. ICANN has sanctioned that all single-character labels and two-character labels be initially reserved. Therefore registrants may not register domains with a single character (eg. www.b.info) or two-character labels (eg. www.me.info).

When will the Landrush period begin?
Afilias is currently in the process of finalizing the dates, however the Landrush period is expected to begin September 12, 2001.

How long is the Landrush period?
Due to an expected high-volume of registrations when the .info domain is initially open to the public, Afilias' estimates that the Landrush period will last for approximately 27 days or until the volume of registrations submitted through the randomized, round-robin queuing process are completed. The landrush period is expected to begin September 12, 2001 and end October 8, 2001.

What are the registration terms for domains registered during the Landrush period?
Domain names registered during the Landrush period must be registered for a minimum of two years and to a maximum of 10 years.

When can I start using a domain registered during the Landrush period?
Domains registered during the Landrush period are expected to be resolvable approximately five minutes after the registration.

What dispute process is used for domains registered during the Landrush period?
Disputes for domains registered during the Landrush period may be settled according to the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) or through the regular court system.

Who is eligible to register a domain during the Registry Live?
As .info is the only new unrestricted top-level domain, anyone may register a domain name for any purpose.

When will the Registry Live start?
Afilias estimates that the start of the Registry Live to begin one or two days after the end of the Start-Up period. Registry Live is expected to begin October 10, 2001. This date is still tentative.

How long is the Registry Live?
The Registry Live will continue indefinitely.

Can I transfer a domain registered during the Registry Live?
Domains can be transferred during the Registry Live as long as the status of the domain permits transfers.

What are the registration terms for domains registered during the Registry Live?
Domain names registered during the Registry Live must be registered for a minimum of two years and up to a maximum of 10 years.

When can I start using a domain registered during the Registry Live?
Domains registered during the Registry Live are expected to be resolvable approximately five minutes after the registration.

What dispute process will be used for domains registered during the Registry Live?
Disputes for domains registered during the Registry Live may be settled according to the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) or through the regular court system.

What is the dispute resolution process for domains registered during the Sunrise period?
The dispute resolution process to be used for domains registered during the Sunrise period is called the Sunrise Challenge process. Dispute resolution services during this period of time will be exclusively provided by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Domains registered during the Start-Up and Post-Start-Up periods will use ICANN's UDRP process. If the domain name that matches your registrants trade or service mark was registered by another party during the Sunrise period, your registrant can apply for a dispute against the registrant by asserting your challenge during a special Sunrise Challenge period. The Sunrise Challenge period will begin at the end of the Sunrise period and continue for 120 days.

What conditions are required to assert a challenge against a Sunrise domain?
A third party may challenge a domain registered during the Sunrise period on the following basis:

  • The registrant does not own a current intellectual property registration.
  • The valid and enforceable intellectual property registration was not of national effect.
  • The second level portion of the domain name is not identical to the intellectual property registration.
  • The intellectual property registration was not issued prior to October 2, 2000.

How much does it cost to assert a challenge?
Upon assertion, each challenge will be subject to a fee of $295 US dollars.

When can a trademark holder assert a challenge?
Parties may assert a challenge against a Sunrise domain at any time during the Sunrise Challenge Process, a period of up to 120 days following the conclusion of the Sunrise Period. After the Sunrise Challenge period, parties disputing the validity of a Sunrise domain must utilize ICANN's UDRP or the regular court system.

How will challenges be evaluated?
The exact rules and regulations of the Sunrise Challenge process is currently being developed by WIPO. Please check back here at a later date for the latest information.

What happens when a Sunrise Registration is challenged?
If a Sunrise Registration is challenged, the trademark owner will need to produce a certified copy of the national trademark registration that is being used as the basis for the Sunrise Registration. Accordingly, trademark owners may wish to order certified copies of their registrations as soon as possible to prepare for potential challenges, in light of the fact that it can take considerable time to obtain a certified copy of a trademark registration in certain countries.

How does the Sunrise Period interact with the UDRP?
Trademark owners' rights are not affected by using - or not using - the Sunrise process. Stated somewhat differently, the Sunrise Period is offered as an accommodation to trademark owners, but its use is solely at the election of the owner. Similarly, the Sunrise Period does not affect the UDRP. Challenges brought against trademark owners' registrations during the Sunrise Period are handled under the Sunrise Challenge Process. Disputes thereafter will be handled in the usual course, i.e., under the UDRP or in a court action.

How long will each round last?
First Round: The submission period for the first round is scheduled to last 7 days. At the end of 7 days, the submitted domains will be randomized and the registry will begin processing registrations. This processing is estimated to last 3 days (1 day for processing and 2 days for technical monitoring of the system).
Second Round: During the 3 day processing period for the first round, registrars will submit additional registration requests to their individual queues. After the third day, Afilias will randomize and process registrations. The processing is estimated to last 2 days (1 day for processing and 1 day for technical monitoring of the system).
Third Round: While the second round of registrations are being processed, registrars may submit additional registration requests to their individual queues, and these requests will be processed in the same manner as the first and second rounds. The processing of the third round is estimated to last 2 days (1 day for processing and 1 day for technical monitoring of the system).
Fourth and Fifth Rounds: The fourth and fifth rounds will be collected and processed in the same manner as the third round. After the fifth round, Afilias anticipates that the volume of registration requests will allow the registry to move to a real-time registration process. Once the registry begins to process the final round, Afilias will not accept additional registration requests for two days. After such two days, when the final round of domain registrations has been processed, Afilias will commence processing registrations in real time.

How does the processing for each round work?
Afilias will process domain name requests using a round robin mechanism such that no more than one registration request per round will be processed for any registrar, whether such registration request is accepted or not, so long as more than one registrar has requests remaining in its queue. A domain name request will be considered successful if: (i) the submitting registrar has not already submitted a request in that round; (ii) the domain name is available; and (iii) the registrar has sufficient funds in its account for the registration. This round robin process will continue until all domain name requests in each individual queue have been processed. No real time registrations will be processed during the round robin rotation, so, while these initial queues are processed, registrars will be submitting new registrations to new individual database queues. Once the initial queues have been processed, the registry will begin processing the next queues and the process will repeat.

How can a registrant protect their intellectual property?
The first stage of the .info roll out is the Sunrise period. It provides trademark owners the ability to register their marks in the .info domain before the general public in order to protect their intellectual property. Domains registered during the Sunrise period must include the following information.

  • The ASCII characters composing the trademark.
  • The date the trademark was issued.
  • The country in which the trademark was registered.
  • The trademark number. IP owners will be able to protect their trade and service marks by registering their corresponding domain names during the Sunrise period.

Are there any restrictions to the intellectual property that can be registered as a domain name?
Those wishing to reserve their marks in the .info domain during the Sunrise Period must own a current trademark or service mark having national effect prior to October 2, 2000. Domain requests must also be for ASCII characters identical to the textual or word elements of the mark only, however, hyphens may be used between spaces within a registered mark. Sunrise registrations will only be accepted for terms of at least five years and will be processed after registration fees are paid in full. The domain names will be locked at the registry level for approximately 180 days following the last day of the Sunrise Period.

                                       

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