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At eleventh hour, most .uk registrants still don’t own their .uk names

Kevin Murphy, March 7, 2019, 10:25:36 (UTC), Domain Registries

Less than a quarter of all third-level .uk registrants have taken up the opportunity to buy their matching second-level domain, just a few months before the deadline.
According to February stats from registry Nominet, 9.76 million domains were registered under the likes of and, but only 2.27 million domains were registered directly under .uk, which works out at about 23%.
Nominet’s controversial policy was introduced in June 2014, with a grandfathering clause that gave all third-level registrants five years to grab their matching .uk domain before it returns to the pool of available names.
So if you own, you have until June 25 this year, 110 days from now, to exercise your exclusive rights to
Registrants of domains have priority over registrants of matching and domains. Nominet’s Whois tool can be used to figure out who has first dibs on any given string.
At least two brand protection registrars warned their clients this week that they will be at risk of cybersquatting if they don’t pick up their direct matches in time. But there’s potential for confusion here, after the deadline, whether or not you own a trademark.
I expect we could see a spike in complaints under Nominet’s Dispute Resolution Service (the .uk equivalent of UDRP) in the back half of the year.
Nominet told DI in a statement today:

The take up right now is roughly in line with what we envisaged. We knew from the outset that some of the original 10 million with rights would not renew their domain, some would decide they did not want the equivalent .UK and some would leave it to the last minute to decide or take action. The feedback from both registrants and registrars, and the registration data, bears this out.

The statement added that the registry has started “ramping up” its outreach, and that in May it will launch “an advertising and awareness campaign” that will include newspapers, radio and trade publications.

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Comments (5)

  1. tommy butler says:

    The Key point on this will be the first .UK laying claim to .Co.UK
    Thats when the real can worms will hit the fan be interesting from legal point view what happens. would be interesting if some domain lawyers put there comments on this happening.

  2. Andrew Bennett says:

    The DRS aspect of this has already been planned for…
    Nominet simply hired more DRS experts at the end of last year:,57_KE58,65.htm
    Plus there is already DRS appeal which cover the .uk bring registered:
    However it’s the 3 million rights Nominet are set to release in July which are more concerning….
    They say “A draft of our proposed release plan and a list of remaining unclaimed rights will be made available in May 2019”.
    However at the moment there companies such as ASDA still have unclaimed rights:
    Does anyone at Nominet remember the One in a million case ?

  3. David Thornton says:

    It’s not quite as simple as dividing the current DUM of by the current DUM of .uk and concluding that only x% have exercised their Right of [First] Refusal (ROFR/ROR) for the .uk because many Rights were extinguished, and the .uk domain name made available Right free, during the past five years, due to the original third level domain name with the attached Right expiring and being deleted by the registry. Others exercised their Right and at some point subsequently decided not to renew the second level .uk domain name.
    In terms of a registrant of a .uk making claim to a registered to a different registrant, using the Nominet Dispute Resolution Service (DRS), I cannot see that this would be different to a or registrant doing the same which has been possible since the inception of all these extensions.
    cybsersquatting – assume you meant cybersquatting. 🙂
    (replying in a personal capacity)

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      Thanks for the typo catch. “Cybersquatting” is one of those words spellcheckers don’t seem to recognize.

  4. John says:

    Why is it that people in the UK do not appear to care one bit or have the slightest interest in .uk?

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