Brexit Impact on .eu Domain Names

August 2018

The Changes

A statement by the European Commission has outlined that following Brexit on 29 March 2019 the EU regulatory framework regarding .eu domain names will no longer apply to the UK, which will have the following consequences:

  • UK undertakings and individuals will no longer be able to register .eu domains, nor will they be able to renew any existing .eu domain names, irrespective of whether they were registered before the withdrawal date;
  • The Registry will be entitled to revoke .eu domain names on its own initiative;
  • UK rights, such as UK trade marks will no longer be effective in an action against bad faith .eu domain name registrations;
  • Agreements between Registrars and Registrants of .eu domain names can no longer effectively designate UK law or a UK court or dispute resolution body.

Considerations for .eu Domain Name Holders

The above is possibly subject to change in any negotiations ahead of Brexit on 29 March 2019, but for now, based on the above position, the following actions may be worthwhile considering:

  • If you have an EU subsidiary outside of the UK, it may be simplest to transfer the .eu domain to that subsidiary ahead of Brexit
  • If you do not have an EU subsidiary, you may need to investigate a new domain, this is important to establish the availability of your desired domain and further to assist in re-direction of traffic to your new domain and particularly re-marketing to avoid negative consequences if your existing .eu domain is revoked or expires soon after Brexit occurs

If you would like any further information regarding the above or have any specific queries on how this might impact on your trade mark rights, please speak to a member of the Trade Marks team or your usual HGF contact.