Rhoads & Sinon: Sunrise period for .bank domains names now open

May 18, 2015, 12:20 ET from Rhoads & Sinon LLP

HARRISBURG, Pa., May 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Rhoads & Sinon LLP is reminding all banks and financial institutions that banks and financial institutions can begin to apply for a .bank Internet domain name today to raise visibility for their business and trust among consumers.

"Our view is that the best offense is a good defense and registering a .bank domain name is both," said Kevin Gold, Esquire. "The clock starts ticking today so we're urging people to move and move quickly."

Today marks the beginning of the "sunrise period" in which approved members of the financial services industry can obtain the mark for use with a .bank domain name. New top-level domain (TLD) names, such as .com, .org or .net, are being issued frequently and the .bank name is available exclusively to approved members of the financial services industry on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

During the "sunrise period," which ends June 17, 2015, banks that have registered trademarks can file them with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ("ICANN") Trademark Clearinghouse. By doing so, a bank can secure its trademark and avoid domain grabbing and cybersquatting. A general availability period for .bank domain names will begin on June 24, 2015. 

Part of ICANN's program to expand top-level generic domains to include the .bank domain system, the domains will be operated by fTLD Registry Services. Several eligibility and security measures will be in place to ensure that only genuine financial institutions can obtain a .bank name.

Rhoads & Sinon, one of only a handful of regional firms of its size, blends experience with innovation to represent community and regional financial institutions in a rapidly evolving industry. Rhoads & Sinon advises banks to contact legal counsel for more specific guidance on how to take advantage of this new aspect of domain name real estate.

SOURCE Rhoads & Sinon LLP