Protecting Your Claim to .ie Domain Names

Are there any .ie domain names you would not want someone else to get?

Has your organisation any .ie domain names registered?

This blog will be of particular interest to your organisation if you fall into any of the following categories:

  1. Your organisation has a website and its extension is anything other than .ie. For example, your current website may have a .com extension to emphasise that you operate internationally.  Or it could have a .org or .net extension to emphasise its not-for-profit nature.  Or it could be a .eu to emphasise your strategic focus on the European Union.
  2. You already have a .ie domain name but there are other domains that you are interested in, e.g., for a new business or division or organisation you plan to set up in the future.
  3. Your organisation does not have a website.

As of the time of writing, there are nearly a quarter of a million .ie domains registered – 240793 to be precise!

And the people registering each and every one of those domains have had to prove a claim to the name as part of the registration process.  (They’ve also had to show a connection with Ireland.)

There’s a big change coming in how .ie registrations are dealt with.  And the change is coming in March.

The change?  From that date forward, anyone looking to register a .ie domain name will no longer be required to prove any claim to the name.  (The requirement to show a connection to Ireland is remaining.)

The effect(s)?  Domains you are interested in, and which you believe you have a reasonable claim to, will be able to be taken by anyone else who can show a connection to Ireland.  For example, imagine you have a .com domain name and a competitor of yours operating in the Irish market registers the .ie equivalent of your domain.  That’s exactly what could happen after March 21st – with resultant confusion for website visitors and perhaps online reputational damage.

Your opportunity?  You still have the opportunity before March to initiate the registration of any .ie domains that you want to keep out of other’s hands.  As Ireland’s domain registry says in this excellent 41 second video, by taking action now you can “safeguard your hard-won identify and reputation online”.  You can also safeguard domain names for possible future expansion/diversification plans you may have.

The deadline is approaching!

Your takeaway?  If you’ve already registered domain names of interest to you then you’re in the clear.  However, if you want to “get” a .ie domain for your organisation, or indeed for yourself, do it quickly so that you can completely eliminate the risk of someone else coming in and grabbing it from under your nose.  It’s a cheap defensive measure.

You might be tempted to simply wait it out and then go through the (slightly) less onerous registration process after the change.  But there’s a risk associated with that – there’ll probably be a large number of registration efforts immediately after the date and that might impede your efforts if you haven’t taken care of it in advance.

To discuss this challenge and how BITS can help you with the registration of .ie domains, please feel free to contact us at [email protected] or call 056-7786882.