The European Commission has confirmed the position for UK businesses and individuals who want to register new or renew current .eu top level domain names in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
In 2006 the European Union (EU) launched its .eu top level domain causing many businesses and individuals established in the United Kingdom (UK) to take up a registration in order to protect their brand and corporate images from their competitors in the EU or those wishing to take advantage of their established reputations.
The EU has now confirmed what will happen to .eu domains in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
The main consequences are:
- A UK Business or UK Resident will no longer be able to register a .eu domain.
- If you already own a .eu domain you will not be able to renew it once the UK has withdrawn from the EU.
- Once the UK has withdrawn the .eu domain registry will be able to revoke any .eu domains registered to a UK Business or UK Resident on its own initiative, without the need to issue legal proceedings in either the EU or UK.
- A UK Business/Resident seeking the revocation of a speculative or abusive registration of a .eu domain will not be able to rely on any established UK right and will only be able to seek revocation if the name is protected by some prior EU right
In light of the above, UK owners of a .eu domains may wish to consider registering now alternative domains to minimise any disruption to traffic to their website in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. UK brand owners should also review how their Intellectual Property Rights are protected and whether a Trade Mark registration within the EU or globally is prudent if this is not already in place.
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