It’s Sunrise Time for .PRO Registry

More than a year after grabbing total
control
of the .PRO domain name registry,
Register.com has opened up its RegistryPro business to begin marketing the suffix — at least partially.

Professionals in the medical, legal and accounting fields can now reserve
the new .PRO top-level domain under the Sunrise Period for
defensive name registrations launched by RegistryPro.

The Sunrise Period allows registered trademark holders to secure their
marks in the .PRO domain before the registry opens fully for public
registrations. The company expects full-scale registrations to be ready by
July.

.PRO domains will cost $125 per year, much higher than the regular
registration fee of approximately $20 per year for the more popular .COM,
.ORG or .NET domains.

RegistryPro, which has headquarters in Atlanta, Ga., said the Sunrise
Period was necessary to allow the protection of trademarks. “By taking this
step now, registered trademark holders can avoid potential trademark
disputes and costly litigation down the road,” the company said.

During the Sunrise Period, RegistryPro is offering two defensive
services. The Defensive Name Registrations service would block registrations
of a matching domain name while a separate .ProBlock service is available to
registered trademark owners looking to entirely block an exact trademark or
service mark across all profession-specific domains (example: .med.pro,
.law.pro, .cpa.pro).

The .ProBlock feature will cost in the range of $500 to $1,500.

The company has also created ProReserve to allow registrants residing
outside of the U.S. to register and reserve a .PRO domain until the registry
goes live in their jurisdiction.

Built-in encryption technologies would allow professionals using the .PRO
domain to sign digital contracts online (lawyers) or send e-mail
prescriptions (doctors).

The .PRO suffix was approved by the
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in November 2000
and given exclusively to RegistryPro, then a partnership between
Register.com and U.K.-based Virtual Internet.

In February 2002, Register.com shelled out $17
million
to acquire Virtual Internet and take sole control of the .PRO
registry.

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