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.Asia sun will rise on 9 October 2007

July 4, 2007; 05:08 AM

London – British businesses face a new opportunity and threat from speculators and counterfeiters in the Far East as the 9 October launch date for the eagerly anticipated .Asia domain name was made official. NetNames, which manages the international domain name portfolios for over 30 per cent of the FTSE 100, is calling on British businesses to ensure they have secured their online brands in the increasingly profitable Asian market.

Jonathan Robinson, chief operating officer, NetNames, one of the first accredited .Asia registrars comments, “With the launch date confirmed, British businesses need to ensure they protect their brands from the new threats and maximise any opportunities to build their brands in the growing Asian market. Many brands lost out in dramatic fashion during the launch of .eu because they didn’t take the issue seriously enough until the eleventh hour.”

Applications for the new .Asia domain name will be split over two time periods. The first begins on 9 October 2007 when companies will be invited to secure their registered trademarks. At this time, government bodies from each country in the region will also be able to secure their domain names.

The second period begins on 13 November 2007 when companies which have already secured their registered trademarks will be invited to secure additional domain names related specifically to their line of business (e.g. Nike will also be able to register At this time registered companies with an official presence in Asia will also be able to secure their business or other trading names, regardless of whether they are officially registered as a trademark. The .Asia domain name will then open to the general public in February 2008.

Robinson adds, “The .Asia registry has developed a thorough registration procedure designed to avoid many of the problems encountered during the ‘free-for-all’ launch of .eu. Businesses will need to demonstrate they have genuine trademarks, and have been established for very specific periods of time to qualify for the .Asia domain name before it gets opened up to the general public. It will take some time to get applications completed and lodged properly and there will still be plenty of competition for the same domain names from companies all over the globe, so marketers and brand managers need to prepare their applications sooner rather than later.”

There are over 409 million Internet users in Asia compared to 319 million in Europe and 231 million in North America (source: Internet World Stats).

About NetNames

NetNames is part of London listed Group NBT plc (LSE: NBT). Through its industry leading domain name management service, NetNames Platinum Service, the company is responsible for managing and protecting online brands for international corporates, including in excess of 30% of the FTSE 100. Following the acquisition of Ascio Technologies in January 2007 NetNames became Europe’s largest domain name management specialist.

NetNames is an ICANN Accredited Registrar with the ability to register domain names in all available suffixes worldwide. The company is headquartered in London, with offices in New York, Nice, Munich, Madrid, Copenhagen, Zurich and Oslo. For further information, visit

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