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Study on evaluation of practices for combating speculative and abusive .eu domain name registrations

The Study assesses the practices aimed at preventing and fighting .eu domain name registrations that are identical or confusingly similar to another rightfully recognised name. In particular, it evaluates the collaboration between relevant EU bodies, the .eu registration procedure and the .eu Alternative Dispute Mechanism.

This study aims to support the Commission in the assessment of the cooperation between the .eu Registry (EURid), the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and other Union agencies, with a view to combatting speculative and abusive registrations of domain names, including cybersquatting, and to providing simplified administrative procedures, in particular for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). 

The study found that the ongoing cooperation among EURid and EUIPO and other European Union agencies (in particular Europol) is working as intended and provides recommendations for further improving such cooperation. It also assessed the .eu registration procedure and other administrative procedures of the .eu Registry and proposed possible simplifications to facilitate the registration of domain names and to avoid speculative and abusive registrations. The study recommends improvements of the registration procedure by comparing the .eu Registry’s procedures with certain identified European registry operators, operating in Belgium, Denmark, Hungary, Italy and United Kingdom (.be, .dk, .hu, .it, .uk).

The findings and recommendations contained in this study provide a basis for the assessment that the Commission has to do concerning the cooperation between the .eu Registry (EURid) and the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and other Union agencies in combatting speculative and abusive registrations of domain names, according to Article 16 of Regulation (EU) 2019/517.

The findings and recommendations of the study will also contribute in adopting informed policy actions in the context of combating abusive and speculative domain name registrations in the .eu domain space and in the European market.

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