.Asia opens up for business

.Asia opens up for business

Second sunrise kicks off tomorrow with firms urged to register to protect their brands

The second sunrise period for the .Asia country code top level domain (ccTLD) opens tomorrow with firms warned they have only two months to register before the close on January 15 next year.

Firms with a corporate presence in the region or those which trade with countries in Asia are being encouraged to register to ensure their trademarks aren't abused.

"It's always wise as cybersquatting becomes more popular, to protect your company [by registering] – it's not an expensive investment and it makes sense, " argued Thomas Herbert of registrar Hostway.

But experts are divided over whether firms will actively use their .asia extensions or if they are merely set to register the domain defensively and stay with their respective country codes, or .com as the primary web address.

Robin Fry of law firm Beachcroft LLP said most of the interest from business is likely to be to defensively register their trade name or variations of it to avoid others making money by cybersquatting.

Hostway's Herbert said that although many companies are pre-registering for the landrush period, which starts in February 2008, whether the domain will be a huge success is dependent on the marketing effort put in by registry DotAsia.