Sudden growth causes internet domain registry to temporarily close

Dot TK, with its 1.7 million active domain names, is now one of the 10 largest domain registries in the world.

The Internet domain of the small group of Tokelau Islands in the South Pacific, has grown bigger than country code extensions such as .it (Italy) and .fr (France).

Due to the enormous growth in the last couple of weeks, Dot TK has decided, together with the government of Tokelau, to temporarily stop the registry for paid domains.

This period is called the 'Sunrise Period' and runs until 3rd December 9.59am GMT.

During this period, corporations can register Dot TK domain names that correspond with their trademarks which allows protection from misuse of registered trademarks, cyber squatting and to provide time for the resolution of disputes over trademarks.

Legitimate proof of trademark ownership is necessary in order to complete these registrations.

The registration of free .TK domain names will remain possible in the Sunrise Period.

However, these free registrations provide no license rights to the registrant, only the user's rights. Dot TK can withdraw the user's rights immediately when there is a conflict with a trademark domain registrant.

"After our visit to Western Europe in September, we have seen an enormous increase in new registrations," said Tino Vitale, general manager of Tokelau's communications company Teletok.

"But with our small community of just over 1,000 people we don't want any problems with corporations wanting to protect their trademarks. And that's the reason why we have launched this Sunrise Period."

"Every trademark domain name registration will be verified extensively," said Joost Zuurbier, CEO of Dot TK. "We have a semi-automated due diligence process that not only checks the information of the registrant, but also checks if the trademarks do belong to his or her company. With this system we can verify the trademark registrations of the 28 major trademark authorities. Only when we can verify that the trademark belongs to the registrant, will we approve the registration."