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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 March 2006, 10:42 GMT
Volkswagen 'gets Polo web name'
VW Polo
Vroom: Volkswagen got there fastest
Volkswagen has scooped the polo.eu domain name, despite fierce competition from Ralph Lauren and Polo-mint maker Nestle, a leading registrar reveals.

NetNames said the trio applied within five minutes of each other, and Ralph Lauren, owner of polo.com, missed out by only three minutes and 24 seconds.

The .eu domain was launched in December and opens to the public in four weeks.

Trademark holders have had a "sunrise period" since December to register their own trademarks.

Public bodies and some other rights holders were allowed to apply in the initial phase.

The names are given out on a first-come-first-serve basis to applicants who then have 40 days to provide proof they hold a trademark in that name.

NetNames said some well known brands seemed more nervous than others about the electronic application process.

Clerical error

Online retailer Amazon filed 22 applications and web telephone service Skype 16, although search giant Google was happy with one. The BBC was also among the applicants, successfully securing bbc.eu.

Even PricewaterhouseCoopers - official validation agent for all .eu applications - apparently made a clerical error in its own application for pwc.eu and pricewaterhousecoopers.eu and had to re-apply, NetNames said.

The domain name process has been administered by EURid with businesses applying through one or more registrars, such as NetNames.

EURid supplies information on applications to all accredited registrars.

A second phase of .eu registration began on 2 February, when companies with other rights such as unregistered trademarks, trade names or company names began to apply.

The staggered registration period aims to stop "cyber squatters" - people who buy up web addresses with the same name as groups or companies, and offer to sell them on at an inflated price.

All EU institutions will begin using the .eu domain in their web addresses from April next year.

EU to launch its own web domain
21 Apr 05 |  Europe
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26 Mar 02 |  Science/Nature

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