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'Sunrise' period for trade mark owners to register web addresses at new '.health' domain coming to a close

A three-month window during which trade mark holders can register web addresses rooted at the new '.health' domain in the name of their brands, is due to close early next month.28 Jun 2017

In May, dotHealth announced the beginning of a 60-day 'sunrise' period for trade mark holders to register domain names ending in .health. The company is the official registry for the .health domain, and has partnered with a number of registrars to allow businesses to register web addresses rooted at the new domain.

The sunrise period ends on 7 July and applies to trade mark holders who have already registered their trade marks with the trade mark clearinghouse run by ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which in recent years has overseen the launch of a range of new generic 'top level' domains (gTLDs), such as .health, to add to the more conventional list which includes '.com' and '.net', among others.

Jose Ignacio Rasco, chief executive of dotHealth, said. "The sunrise phase ensures trademark holders are protected and are the first to have access to their domains, upholding the credibility and strength of the domainspace."

Shortly after the sunrise period ends, a new 'industry access' phase will open. During this stage, which will open on 20 July, "qualified health industry brands, organisations, and individuals" will be able to register web addresses rooted at the .health domain, according to dotHealth. There is a registration process to go through for those wishing to be recognised as a .health industry access partner.

Specialist in trade mark law Iain Connor of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said: "New sector specific top level domains continue to be released with .health forming part of the latest round. While the advertising of pharmaceuticals is heavily regulated, the opportunity to use the .health gTLD provides companies in the sector with a trusted domain name for their online channel."