Businesses that have already registered their trade marks with ICANN’s Trademark Clearing House can now apply to secure their new .cymru and .wales domains. This Sunrise phase prioritises and secures trade mark rights, provided there are no duplications in these applications which would then need to go onto a tie-break and possible auction process.
Founders, high-profile early adopters of .cymru and .wales, including Ourhomeonline and Eincartrefarlein, will start using these domains soon, marking the start of a truly Welsh space on the internet. The Welsh government announced its switch to .cymru and .wales earlier this summer, and strong backing has come from many organisations, among them: S4C the Welsh language TV channel, the National Assembly for Wales, Sport Wales, the Federation of Small Businesses Wales, the Scarlets rugby team and the Arts Council for Wales.
Welsh businesses that do not have, or that have not pre-registered trade marks, can apply in the second registration phase beginning on 3 November 2014.
A third phase, Landrush, starts on 29 December 2014. During this phase anyone can apply for domain names that haven’t been registered in the earlier phases. Domain names that receive more than one application will go to auction.
A fourth phase opening availability up to the general public will begin on St David’s Day, March 1st 2015.