Applications for the new .asia domain will be staggered over three time periods in an attempt to avoid the confusion and chaos surrounding the recent .eu domain launch.
The first period begins on 9 October when companies will be invited to secure their registered trademarks. Government bodies from each country in the region will also be able to secure their domain names at this time.
The second period begins on 13 November when companies which have already secured registered trademarks will be invited to secure additional domain names related specifically to their line of business.
Registered companies with an official presence in Asia will also be able to secure their business or other trading names at this time, regardless of whether they are officially registered as a trademark.
The third period begins in February 2008, when the .asia domain will be opened to the general public.
"The .asia registry has developed a thorough registration procedure designed to avoid many of the problems encountered during the 'free-for-all' launch of .eu," said Jonathan Robinson, chief operating officer at domain registrar NetNames.
"Businesses will need to demonstrate that they have genuine trademarks, and have been established for very specific periods of time, to qualify for the .asia domain name before it gets opened up to the general public."
As the launch date approaches, NetNames is calling on UK businesses to ensure that they have secured their online brands in the Asian market.
"British businesses need to ensure that they protect their brands from the new threats, and maximise any opportunities to build their brands in the growing Asian market," said Robinson.
"Many brands lost out in dramatic fashion during the launch of .eu because they did not take the issue seriously enough until the eleventh hour."
Figures from research firm Internet World Stats suggest that there are over 409 million internet users in Asia, compared to 319 million in Europe and 231 million in North America, making the .asia domain a highly lucrative market.
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