Study by Names @ Work Reveals Small European Trademark Holders could Pose Problem for Major U.S. Brands in .EU

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The Sunrise Period for .EU could leave U.S. brands disappointed. Excel.eu could go to a penile prosthesis manufacturer, Powerpoint.eu to a fishing hook manufacturer. Cybersquatters aren’t the problem for a change.

Names @ Work today released a study of select major U.S. brands, comparing them to existing European Community (CTM) trademarks. The study sought to understand whether U.S. trademark holders will face significant competition in the new .EU top-level domain during the first Sunrise Period, which is reserved for trademark holders.

The study found that European companies have many legitimate CTM trademarks that clash with major U.S. brands, making the first-come, first-served Sunrise Period problematic for large American companies.

Antony Van Couvering, CEO of Names @ Work, who achieved a 98% success rate in the .INFO and .BIZ sunrise periods, said that with deadline for .EU Sunrise registrations fast approaching, American companies late to the game had few choices. “Companies competing with other trademarks need to find the shortest possible registration queue, and to make sure their paperwork is in order. Our offering, made in partnership with Pool.com, is as far as I know the only product to offer this level of service.”

Names @ Work chose to partner with Pool.com because of their ability to provide the shortest queues in market today. Van Couvering said that companies could find short queues on their own, but that they would have to seek out one of a limited number of very small obscure registrars.

The study found that a trademark for “ATT”, belongs to Advanced Thermal Technologies from the UK; “Excel”, belongs to Mentor Corp., a penile prosthesis manufacturer, also in the U.K.; “UPS” belongs to Darco, a company working with bone implants in Germany; and that “Sprint” belongs to a bicycle manufacturer named Nikos Maniatopoulos in Greece. All of these companies could legitimately register their names as a .EU domain name ahead of the well-known American brand. The full report is available at http://www.namesatwork.com/domains/dot-eu-sunrise-study/.

Names @ Work uses domain names, search engines, and blogs to help corporations reach their customers. Names @ Work is based in New York City, with associate offices in London, Toronto, and Seattle.

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Antony Van Couvering
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