The difference between "sunrise" and "landrush" phases of new Top Level Domain rollouts.

By , May 25, 2010

We published a few articles on our company blog about the forthcoming launch of the .CO top level domain, and we made numerous references to the “sunrise” and “landrush” phases without realizing that those phrases are “jargon”. People who don’t live and breathe domains may not actually know what this means!

Pretty well every new top-level-domain that has ever rolled out has done so in two phases, called “sunrise” and “landrush”.

Sunrise Phase:

This is ostensibly to protect intellectual property rights holders: those with registered trademarks. What happens before the new domain space is “open to public” is that trademark holders are given the opportunity to register domains germane to their marks in the new top level domain.

So in the case of .co, people with a trademark on “example” would be given first crack at “example.co”. If there are multiple trademark holders vying for a given domain, some sort of resolution process kicks in (either a lottery or an auction).

Landrush Pase:

After the Sunrise period, the top-level-domain is opened up for “landrush”. This is when anybody and everybody can register new domains under the new space on a first-come-first-served basis. Presumably all trademark holders have protected their intellectual property rights by now, and everything left degenerates into a free-for-all landrush.

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