The rights of registration period for.uk domain names ends on 25th June 2019.
Upon the launch of the new .uk domain extension in June 2014, the UK domain registry Nominet granted rights of registration to holders of existing .co.uk, .me.uk, .org.uk, .ltd.uk and .plc.uk domains and reserved the equivalent .uk versions. But with the ending of the rights of registration period, anyone can register unclaimed .uk domains from 6th July 2019.
Creating an online presence takes a lot of time and effort. If someone else registers your .uk domain, you or your organisation could be at risk of impersonation. The full impact of this is hard to estimate as it could include many elements such as time, lost sales, potential legal fees and reputational damage. While you may have a case to gain control of a .uk domain from another party, these processes are expensive and time-consuming. You could also get caught up in domain dispute processes, requiring you to demonstrate thoroughly that the domain is abusive before any action is taken by the registry.
We have also become aware that so-called “domain squatters” (who register and monetise domains associated with existing brands, organisations and individuals) are preparing to register any potentially valuable .uk domains once they are released to the public. While buying and selling domain names is not illegal, it is possible for domains to be registered in bad faith. For this reason, we have considered the impact this practice may have on our customers, who may not be fully aware of the risk it poses to themselves and their businesses. We have therefore decided that the best course of action, in our customers’ interests, is for us to secure all our registrants’ .uk domains for free for one year. This will prevent and limit any damage caused by third parties’ uncontrollable behaviour.
For a step-by-step guide, see our article on .UK Rights of Registration
Domains were secured in June 2019 and will be released back into the public pool if no claim is made.