ICANN Announces “Sunrise” Period For Registration of Domain Names and Keywords in New .TEL Domain

November 18, 2008

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has announced the roll out of a new top level domain name: .TEL, which will be open to register domain names consisting of registered trademarks beginning December 3, 2008.

The .TEL extension enables registrants to post their company contact information on a live global directory. This unique new domain is designed to provide direct access to this information, rather than to a company web site. This can be a powerful marketing and contact tool for businesses, and those with registered trademarks should consider registering with the domain registrar during the early Sunrise period.

The .TEL domain name registration will enable browsers to access contact information and keywords stored directly in the Domain Name Server (“DNS”) operated by Telnic. The main features of the .TEL domain name registration are:

  1. The contact information and keywords are stored in the DNS. There is no need to create a separate web site.
  2. When someone connected to the internet types in “TRADEMARK.tel”, the DNS returns the company contact information in the hierarchical order you provide.
  3. The user can access your company directly by selecting any of the options that you have set up, such as telephone numbers, email addresses, or local area maps.

Once a .TEL domain name and keyword is registered, you can enter and update contact information in real-time through a very simple interface. This is a major advantage over relying on search engines to draw browsers to your company information. Sear engines may not direct browsers to your company site and may contain outdated information. Also, users of the .TEL registry can not only find your company, but can easily find exactly the division or subsidiary they wish to contact.

The .TEL registry is providing trademark owners with a “Sunrise” period opportunity to register domain names corresponding to their trademarks in the .TEL extension before registration is opened to the general public. The Sunrise period begins December 3, 2008 and ends February 2, 2009. Those who do not own trademarks, but are willing to pay a premium price for a .TEL registration may apply during the subsequent “Landrush” period that runs from February 3-March 23, 2009. Finally, General registration opens on March 24. Only qualified applicants may participate in the Sunrise period. Domain names will be granted on a first-come first-served basis.

To qualify for a Sunrise filing, the .TEL applicant must own a registered trademark that was applied for before May 30, 2008 and registered prior to the date of submission of the Sunrise application.

The requirements for a Sunrise .TEL application are:

  1. For applications based on word marks: an exact match between the trademark and the domain name; or
  2. For applications based on figurative signs or logos: an exact match between the domain name and the trademark provided the word element can be clearly separated from the device element without any possibility of mis-reading the characters; and
  3. A trademark/domain name of between three and 63 characters.

We can assist you in registering a TEL domain name registration by utilizing the .TEL registration services we subscribe to. The initial registration period is three years, and costs approximately $800, inclusive of all costs and fees. Companies can register more than one .TEL domain name.

If you would like to apply to register your company’s trademark(s) in the .TEL domain extension during the first Sunrise period, or if you have any questions about the registry or our registration services, please contact us or send us your instructions as soon as possible and no later than November 24, 2008.


Michael R. Graham
Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP
[email protected]

About Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP:

The law firm of Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP provides intellectual property and litigation representation in worldwide acquisition, protection, defense, enforcement and transfer of patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Patent prosecution, litigation and transactional offerings encompass all areas of science and technology.