The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has approved .mobi domain names, which mTLD launched, to make the experience of accessing the internet over mobile devices faster and more consistent. This will be done by ensuring that .mobi names are only used for sites providing services on the mobile web, that no .mobi sites include frames, and that all users end up at an XHTML-MP page if they type in a URL that ends in .mobi.
Following the limited industry sunrise registration period in May 2006, from 12 June until 21 August all other trade mark holders can register their trade marks in .mobi on a first-come, first-served basis. .mobi domain names are issued and administered by mTLD, the ICANN-appointed global registry of .mobi.
Trade Mark Sunrise Registration Period
Applicants for the trade mark sunrise registration period must validate their claim to the requested domain name by providing the following:
- Trade mark name (must be three or more ASCII characters)
- Trade mark identification number
- Date of trade mark application (this date must be before 11 July 2005)
- Date of granting of trade mark
- Country of trade mark registration
Domain names must be identical to the trade mark or textual elements of the trade mark. PricewaterhouseCoopers has been appointed to verify .mobi sunrise applications. In addition mTLD is working closely with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), registrars, copyright bodies and site owners to ensure that trade marks are properly protected during the sunrise period.
In July 2005 ICANN approved .mobi as a sponsored top-level domain. .mobi is sponsored by mTLD, a group formed by Nokia, Vodafone Group, Google, Microsoft Corporation, Samsung and Ericsson. Its goal is to provide a more consistent, predictable and fast service for individuals using their mobile device to access the internet. They envisage that this will be done by creating an entire area of the internet dedicated to providing content for mobile devices.
.mobi is restricted to mobile devices and sites providing services for them on the mobile web. There are two mandatory rules for a .mobi domain: first, the user has to end up at a XHTML-MP page after typing a URL that ends in .mobi, either via a primary or secondary domain (in other words the provider has to support just domainname.mobi as well as anything.domainname.mobi); second, no frames can be used. By following these rules, .mobi providers will create a standard navigation scheme for the mobile web. Users will be confident that a website will work on their mobile device when they access a .mobi domain as the web pages will have reduced graphics and fewer choices than those accessed on a personal computer (PC).
mLTD and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the organisation responsible for developing standards for web pages, created these rules and best practice guidelines. mTLD is authorised to audit .mobi domains to ensure they follow the prescribed rules and best practices.
The first sunrise registration occurred between 22 May and 29 May and was limited to the members of the following organisations: the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association; the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association; the GSM Association; the Mobile Entertainment Forum; the Mobile Marketing Association; and the Rural Cellular Association. Following the trade mark sunrise, .mobi will be open for general registrations from 28 August 2006.