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Username: Afilias
Date/Time: Tue, August 7, 2001 at 5:36 AM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.5 using Windows NT 5.0
Subject: AFILIAS responds to speculation


        There has been some speculation circulating over the last few days regarding Afilias WHOIS and registrations made during the Sunrise Period.  Afilias would like to take this opportunity to clarify any confusion that may have occurred.

First, Afilias has successfully begun its Sunrise Period, which allows trademark and service mark holders around the world the opportunity to register their marks before the opening of registration to the general public.  Many companies have already identified this window as a strategic opportunity to secure their marks in a new Internet space.

As part of the Sunrise Period, Afilias has specifically limited registration to trademark and service mark holders only by requiring specific information about the mark to be registered.  This includes the mark in ASCII equivalent text that exactly matches the mark, the country and date of registration, and the registration number. 

While Afilias has committed to providing the most comprehensive protection for trademark holders it can, given the number of trademark jurisdictions around the world it is simply not possible to validate all of the information in each of these restrictive fields and maintain a competitive pricing structure.  This aspect of the process has been clear since Afilias submitted its application to ICANN in October 2000.

Therefore, as part of the policy developed to restrict cybersquatting in the rollout of .INFO, Afilias has also created a Sunrise Challenge policy jointly with one of the most respected dispute resolution providers around the globe  the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).  (Note: Background on the Sunrise Period and the Sunrise Challenge Process is available at

We feel that this challenge policy incorporates additional protection for trademark holders by providing any third party the opportunity to challenge a registration made during the Sunrise Period should it not meet the registration restrictions.  This expedited process opens the battle against cybersquatting to every interested Internet user and significantly lowers the fee that a trademark holder would traditionally pay in order to obtain a domain name back through a UDRP proceeding or prevent a fraudulent registration.

This is the first time in the history of the domain name system (DNS) that anyone has accepted and processed applications using a Sunrise mechanism to limit cybersquatting. With this in mind, no process is perfect.  Afilias is committed to thoroughly examining its process to learn and evaluate the system so that it may be even more useful in the rollout of additional top-level domains (TLDs).

To address the publishing of the WHOIS - Afilias WHOIS was prematurely published before the processing of the first queue was complete.  In order to ensure that the system ran accurately during the first queue, Afilias closed immediate access to the WHOIS. 

Afilias has now successfully processed its first two queues of Sunrise Registrations and has opened its WHOIS service which is available at

Afilias welcomes comments and questions to be sent to

Best regards,
The .INFO Registry


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