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.co.no opens for business after court win

The Norwegian registrant of the domain name co.no has won a court case against .no registry Norid that will allow it to finally launch as a pseudo-ccTLD, according to the company.

A Trondheim court ruled that Norid cannot revoke Elineweb’s registration of co.no for alleged policy violations, but has also ruled that the domain cannot be transferred to a third party.

Therefore, Elineweb plans to start offering third-level .co.no domain names to companies and individuals unable to register the names they want under Norid’s strict policy regime.

The company will open .co.no on a first-come, first-served basis — having already conducted sunrise and landrush periods — tomorrow at 10am Central European Time.

The full list of 70+ accredited registrars can be found here.

DI first covered the lawsuit back in October 2011.

The .co.no namespace is managed by CoDNS, a subsidiary of the registrar EuroDNS that already operates .co.nl as a pseudo-ccTLD, in partnership with Elineweb.

The two namespaces are not official ccTLDs, but they are both recognized by the Public Suffix List, which makes them behave similarly in browsers.

Norid sued over .co.no domains

Kevin Murphy, October 27, 2011, Domain Registries

The registrant of the domain name co.no has sued Norwegian registry Norid over claims that it tried to hold up the launch of .co.no as an alternative namespace.

Elineweb registered the domain back in 2001.

Last October, along with back-end partner CoDNS, the company said it would offer third-level .co.no domains to the public as an alternative to second-level .no names.

The idea was to bring gTLD-style friendliness to the strictly regulated .no ccTLD – where at the time companies were limited to 20 domains each.

Elineweb concluded a sunrise period this February, but subsequently delayed its full launch after Norid started asking it questions about the co.no domain’s ownership.

Norid was evidently not pleased. For the best part of 2011, it’s been conducting an investigation into whether the .co.no project complies with its policies.

In 2009, Norid added co.no and other two-letter domains to a reserved list. Already-registered domains on the list could continue to be used, but could not be transferred between registrants.

Norid has reportedly concluded that co.no has technically changed hands, hence Elineweb’s lawsuit. It wants the court to rule that its proposed service is legal.

“.CO.NO is a common initiative between Elineweb AS the registrant of the domain name and CoDNS BV, the technical back-end provider,” Elineweb said in a press release.

“We never tried to hide the fact that Elineweb is the registrant of the domain name, which is, besides a public information displayed in NORID whois database,” manager Sander Scholten said.

CoDNS, owned by Luxembourg registrar EuroDNS, is already the back-end provider for .co.nl, a pseudo-TLD offered in the Netherlands.

News of the lawsuit comes just a couple of weeks after Norid announced that it would raise the limit on the number of .no domains any given company can register to 100.