06 April 2018

Deciphering Domains: how will Brexit affect .eu?

On 28 March 2018, almost a year to the day since the UK submitted the notification of its intention to withdraw from the European Union, the European Commission published a Notice To Stakeholders regarding the consequences of the withdrawal for the 300,000 .eu domain names currently registered in the UK.

As of the withdrawal date, currently set at 30 March 2019, the UK will become a ‘third country’ and the following rules will apply for .eu domain names:

1. Eligibility

The following will no longer be eligible to register or renew .eu domain names

(i) undertakings and organisations that are established in the United Kingdom but not in the EU; and

(ii) natural persons who reside in the United Kingdom.

2. Revocation

The Registry for .eu domain names will be entitled to revoke domain names on its own initiative if a holder of a domain name no longer fulfils the general eligibility criteria.

3. Rights

Rights recognised or established in the United Kingdom, but not in the 27 Member States of the EU or by the Union can no longer be used as a basis for seeking the revocation of a domain name confusingly similar thereto.

If the above provisions are likely to affect you or your business, and you would like to explore the strategy your business should take, please do contact your Mathys & Squire Attorney.