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London top level domain registration opens today

The .London domain will offer businesses the opportunity to personalise their online presence

web address

Businesses and individuals will be able to register applications for the new .london domain suffix from today.

The start of today's 'Sunrise' period will allow trademark owners to secure domain names containing their marked terms before anyone else.

These trademarks will have to be registered with the Trademark Clearinghouse before being verified and allowed to carry the .London domain.

Recording these trademarks with the Clearinghouse helps to mitigate the risk of cybersquatters registering domain names containing the marks of recognisable brands.

Antony Faiers, UK country manager of Sedo, thinks the new .London domains will offer businesses across the capital an opportunity to personalise their online presence.

He said: "For bigger brands too, such as Harrods and Molton Brown, who are synonymous with the capital, there is real potential to leverage the new top level domain (TLD) in order to create a really unique web experience."

Jan Corstens, worldwide project partner of Trademark Clearinghouse and a partner at Deloitte, thinks the arrival of .London is a major milestone.

"With a whole host of new web extensions currently launching on the internet, .London is certainly one of the most anticipated arrivals where businesses, organisations and individuals who want to associate themselves more closely with London online will soon have the opportunity to do so," he said.

However, there is already some scepticism and criticism being voiced about the plans. 

Roland LaPlante, senior vice president of Afilias, thinks the fact the domains are limited by city could give an unfair advantage over other cities.

He said: "ICANN is already being lobbied to open a next round soon, and the expected success of .London and others will certainly add to the pressure."

More than 50,000 people expressed an interest in a .London domain before it was agreed they should be rolled out.

London and Scotland have been lobbying for their own domain names since 2011.

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