LawFlash

The Race for .SPORT Domain Names Is on

September 11, 2018

If your business is focused on sports or you are otherwise involved in the global sports community, the new .SPORT domain name extension may be of interest to you. We encourage you to act promptly, as the preference window for registering .SPORT domain names is now open.

Operated by the Global Association of International Sports Federations (the GAISF), the .SPORT domain name extension is one of about 1,000 new generic Top Level Domain (or gTLD) extensions that have been introduced to the internet since 2013 (in part to alleviate overcrowding among .COM domain names). However, as a “community” extension, .SPORT domain names may only be registered by individuals or entities that have a nexus with the global sports community. This includes sport federations, organizations, and governing bodies; clubs and teams; cities and public authorities; athletes; sports event organizers and sponsors; sports brands and corporate partners; sports media; and sports facilities.

As with other gTLD extensions, registered trademark owners are given the first opportunity to register the .SPORT domain names that correspond with their registered trademarks. This special registration window for trademark registrants—known as a “Sunrise Period”—opened on September 4, 2018, and runs through November 6, 2018. During this period, other eligible parties in the .SPORT community may submit applications for .SPORT domain names, but should multiple parties apply for the same domain name, the registered trademark owner will be given priority. Accordingly, registered trademark owners interested in securing a .SPORT domain name should act now to ensure that the corresponding .SPORT domain name is not issued to a third party.

Morgan Lewis routinely helps clients develop and implement cost-effective and comprehensive domain name registration and enforcement strategies. Our team of experienced attorneys is available to answer any questions you may have regarding the new .SPORT domain name extension, as well as any of the other 1,000+ domain name extensions now available, and to help you protect your business’s valuable brand online.

Contacts

If you have any questions or would like assistance with domain name issues or your domain name strategy, please contact any of the following Morgan Lewis lawyers:

Boston
Rachelle Dubow
David O. Johanson

San Francisco
Rochelle D. Alpert
Carla B. Oakley

Washington, DC
Karen A. Butcher
Ron Dreben
Dana S. Gross
Anita B. Polott