Entertainment, Web companies flock to .mobi

About 2,000 trademarked names have already been registered under the .mobi Internet domain.

The newly created .mobi Internet domain for mobile device sites is shaping up to be a pretty entertaining place, if you're 10 years old.

Thundercats.mobi, scooby-doo.mobi, bugsbunny.mobi and flintstones.mobi were all taken within hours, after the TLD (top-level domain) was declared open for registration Monday.

Gone, too, are catwoman.mobi and, naturally, batman.mobi, according to information from mTLD Top Level Domain Ltd., or dotMobi, the organization overseeing the registrations.

The new domain is the first one intended for Internet sites to be viewed on the small screens of mobile devices, the mobile equivalent of .com.

The dotMobi group, based in Dublin, opened up registrations, which are being carried out by third-party companies, at 3 p.m. Monday in London, which was 7 a.m. in Silicon Valley and Hollywood.

But it's not all fun and games. Member companies of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA) and other mobile industry groups will have the domain to themselves for registration of trademarks until next Monday. Starting June 12, other companies will be able to register domains for their trademarked names, and on Aug. 28 the TLD will open to individual users.

All the major U.S. mobile operators are there, along with France Telecom and Australia's Telstra. Internet equipment maker Cisco Systems didn't waste any time registering ciscosystems.mobi, and PricewaterhouseCoopers, which is verifying the registration process, picked up pricewaterhousecoopers.mobi.

About 2,000 names had been registered by Tuesday afternoon Pacific time. Among those were many content providers and their product trademarks, including TV series and comics characters, signaling at least some confidence that consumers will embrace video entertainment delivered to their mobile devices. Blue-chip Internet brands such as Google and Yahoo also got into the action. The price of the domain names is set by individual registrars.

To ensure trademarks are protected during the early registration period, dotMobi is working with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), copyright bodies, site owners and registrars, dotMobi said.

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Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
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