What’s In a Name?

The introduction of the .eu domain was a milestone for internet companies and domain name registrars alike. It’s the first time that a domain name extension has been used to comprehensively link so many different cultures, languages and internet users under one common extension. Although the .com domain does this to an extent, it is largely representative of American users and was introduced with the US market in mind.

Unlike a .com address, the .eu extension is a social and political statement. Its users are declaring their belonging to the burgeoning continent and more often than not, aligning their online business activities with the single European Union.

It could be argued that a .eu address gives a certain gravitas – a .UK extension may proudly proclaim its Britishness and ability to supply products and services to the Island but a .eu addresses gives a continental presence, suggesting commerce on a much larger scale.

The Mastercard advert boasts that it is accepted almost anywhere and the same can be said of the .eu domain. It breaks down barriers and overcomes language differences. If you’re a business looking to do business with a like-minded enterprise, finding you have a .eu address in common is a huge vote of confidence.

From a tiny domain extension you can summarise that yes, this is a business operating under similar economic circumstances, tax laws and legislation. Yes, it’s a business that has a geographical proximity. Yes, you can directly compare prices for products and services with thousands of other suppliers thanks to the single currency. Yes, you can surmise all of that from the web address extension.

And if you haven’t yet registered the .eu version of your web site, it is worth doing so. This can be redirected to your existing web site. Even if you are not currently trading in more than one country, it is worth registering the .eu URL as a form of online brand protection, preventing other companies registering your web address with a .eu extension.

Joining countries and languages as diverse as Polish and English under a single domain extension, it’s not surprising that the number of registered .eu domains exceeded all expectations when .eu addresses were launched last April.

According to the European Registry of Internet Domain Names, or EURid, one million .eu domain names were snapped up on the first day alone. A further 1.7 million domains were added to this tally, making it the third most popular domain option registered by European citizens. With almost 3 million variations, .eu is pipped only by Germany’s .de and the UK’s own extension.

Of course, it hasn’t all been plain sailing. The EURid is currently pursuing legal action against 400 domain name registrars acting on behalf of three Cypriot nationals believed to have stockpiled some 74,000 eu domains to sell at a profit.

And although around 80% of eu names links to a functioning web site, almost one fifth are redirected to other domain name extensions.

Still, the enthusiastic welcome of the .eu domain is unprecedented and saw six people register the longest possible domain address. Restricted to sixty-three characters, the addresses ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous. While one quick thinking entrepreneur registered [http://www.this] isthelongesteuropeandomainnameallovertheworld andnowitismine.eu, one French user registered the letter A sixty-three times. A pointless exercise bettered only by a compatriot registering the letter z sixty-three times.

So, what’s in a name? Quite a lot actually.

Domain Knowledge of a Successful Medical Writer

The main requirement for a medical writer is to have expertise in medical terms and concepts. A post graduate degree in medical science like pharmacy, health and nutrition, genetics and biochemistry can offer a medical writer with the right type of knowledge and familiarity with medical research and concepts. Another major requirement is proficiency in writing as a medical writer has to communicate scientific data in a clear and understandable way to his clients.

Take a look at some of the domain knowledge that a clinical writer should know about:

1) Knowledge of Medical Subjects: The purpose of a medical writing service or a medical writer is to communicate scientific and medical data to the client in a way that is understandable, hence the writer must have thorough knowledge about the various concepts, terminologies and jargons used in that specific field of medicine. A person who needs to create a medical report in the subject of nephrology or cardiology can do so without much difficulty, if he has experience and knowledge of the field. However, most clinical report writers have diverse therapeutic and medical subjects to write on and as it is not possible to have thorough knowledge in all medical areas, it is generally advisable to at least have a basic knowledge. As the writer gains more and more experience, his knowledge on the various subjects will build up.

2) Knowledge of Drug Development Process: Often medical writing services have to create clinical research documents for hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. Clinical research documents include protocol writing, Investigators’ Brochures, Clinical Trial reports and drug efficacy and safety summaries, which require a thorough understanding of the drug development process, its clinical research and the numerous regulations associated with it. For such reports, a degree in pharmacology can help the medical writer go a long way.

3) Knowledge of Statistics and Inferences: Medical writers often have to deal with quantitative data analysis in clinical trials and research reports, which involve statistics. A medical writer needs to infer the results of the statistics in a way that allows doctors to easily analyze the quality and effectiveness of the study design as well as the conclusive results the research yields. A good way to get some understanding of medical statistics is to attend workshops and seminars conducted by qualified medical statisticians for just this purpose.

4) Knowledge of Medical Guidelines and Regulations: The European Union, Japan and the USA have created a set of guidelines related to drug registration and its research and development called the ICH (International Conference on Harmonization). Now a days a medical writer has access to numerous guidelines which can help him write investigators’ brochures, case report forms, informed consent forms and clinical trial reports and overviews. A lot of information about clinical research requirements can be found at ICH’s website which is necessary for a medical writing service provider to know. He also needs to keep himself up dated as regards to any new guidelines that are introduced and old guidelines that have been revised. All medical journals which publish written medical content also provide a list of requirements to medical writers who offer journal submission services to their clients.

Introduction to .eu Domain Disputes

The creation of the .eu domain was endorsed by the European Parliament back in March 2000, but took 5 more years to become a reality. The motive for introducing a European TLD was to “accelerate electronic commerce” in the EU; it was also part of the effort to promote Community-consciousness, both within the EU and without. The domain has certainly been a success, quickly becoming one of the world’s most popular TLDs; but with that success has come conflict.

Institutions

In May 2003 the European Registry for Internet Domains (EURid) was selected as the .eu registry, and was entrusted with the organisation, administration and management of the new .eu domain. EURid is a not-for-profit organisation whose fees are intended only to cover its costs.

EURid has appointed the Arbitration Court attached to the Czech Chamber of Commerce as its provider of .eu ADR services. In principle it could appoint more providers in future.

Procedures

Under the .eu Regulation, ADR proceedings may be initiated by any person: you do not need to be the owner of the trade mark or name upon which a complaint is based.

The ADR proceedings will usually be conducted in the language specified in the registration agreement, and in practice that usually means English.

The complainant files a complaint in the requisite form and pays the up-front fees. The fees vary with the number of domain names at issue and the number of panellists chosen, and range between Euros 1990 and 5400+. After the complaint is filed and the fee paid, a block is put on the domain name preventing transfer for the duration of the proceedings. The respondent’s case is set out in its response, which must be filed within 30 working days of the date of receipt of the complaint. If no response is received, the expert is empowered to consider this as a ground to accept the complainant’s arguments. In most cases there will be no opportunity for the complainant to reply to the respondent’s response.

However, the ADR panel does have the power to request further information and/or documents from the parties. Oral hearings may be ordered in “exceptional circumstances”, but in practice that is likely to mean almost never.

The remedies available are revocation and transfer or the domain name(s) at issue; the remedy will be implemented by the domain registrar. There is no appeal from a panel decision (unlike, for instance, at Nominet). However, an aggrieved party is free to initiate court proceedings

Substantive rules

The substantive rules governing .eu domain name arbitrations are set out in Article 21 of the .eu Regulation:

“A registered domain name shall be subject to revocation, using an appropriate extra-judicial or judicial procedure, where that name is identical or confusingly similar to a name in respect of which a right is recognised or established by national and/or community law … and where it: (a) has been registered by its holder without rights or legitimate interest in the name; or (b) has been registered or is being used in bad faith.”

Providing there is identity or confusing similarity between the domain name and someone else’s name or mark, you only need to establish one of the other criterion – a lack of rights/legitimate interest upon registration or bad faith – to succeed in the ADR proceedings.

The UDRP contains much the same criteria, but under the UDRP both need to be established to ground an action. It is unclear why the Commission decided to treat these criteria as disjunctive, given that the Recitals to the Regulation highlight the UDRP (as administered by WIPO) as an example of best practice – and given the trenchant criticism from many quarters that the UDRP is (or has been applied in a way that is) excessively pro-complainant.

Respondent’s rights and legitimate interests

How can a respondent demonstrate rights or legitimate interests in a domain?

“Rights” usually means trade mark rights, registered or unregistered. An issue here will be whether names used in a non-commercial context can give rise to relevant rights.

“Legitimate interests” is a more nebulous concept. In order to demonstrate a legitimate interest, a domain name registrant will need to show: (i) commercial use of the domain name (or demonstrable preparation for such use), (ii) “legitimate and non-commercial or fair use of the domain name, without intent to mislead customers or harm the reputation of a name on which a right is recognised or established by national and/or community law”, or (iii) that the domain name designates the registrant. So, the “legitimate interest” criterion is a low hurdle, but it is a hurdle nonetheless, and can be expected to trip up some registrants.

The two main problems with this definition, in our view, are that demonstrable preparations to make “legitimate and non-commercial or fair” use of a domain do not constitute a legitimate interest; and that any “harm” to a trade mark undermines a claim to legitimate interests notwithstanding a fair use. Don’t hold your breath for [http://www.euridsrulessuck.eu].

Bad faith

The Regulation says that bad faith “may be demonstrated” in the following circumstances:

(1) “circumstances indicate that the domain name was registered or acquired primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name to the holder of a name in respect of which a right is recognised or established by national and/or Community law or to a public body”; or

(2) “the domain name has been registered in order to prevent the holder of such a name in respect of which a right is recognised or established by national and/or Community law, or a public body, from reflecting this name in a corresponding domain name, provided that: a pattern of such conduct by the registrant can be demonstrated; or the domain name has not been used in a relevant way for at least two years from the date of registration; or in circumstances where, at the time the ADR procedure was initiated, the holder of a domain name in respect of which a right is recognised or established by national and/or Community law or the holder of a domain name of a public body has declared his/its intention to use the domain name in a relevant way but fails to do so within six months of the day on which the ADR procedure was initiated”;

(3) “the domain name was registered primarily for the purpose of disrupting the professional activities of a competitor”; or

(4) “the domain name was intentionally used to attract Internet users, for commercial gain, to the holder of a domain name website or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with a name on which a right is recognised or established by national and/or Community law or a name of a public body, such likelihood arising as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement of the website or location of a product or service on the website or location of the holder of a domain name”; or

(5) “the domain name registered is a personal name for which no demonstrable link exists between the domain name holder and the domain name registered”.

The circumstances are presented as little more than guidance, but there is a tendency for panellists to interpret these in the same way at they would an ordinary legislative provision. In particular, it is a rare panellist who will find that a case falling squarely within one of the examples of potential bad faith does not involve bad faith.

Some of the circumstances which are indicative of bad faith have been carried over from the UDRP; however, several are new. Most interesting is the suggestion that a declaration of an intention to use a domain name “in a relevant way” might protect that domain name from an allegation of bad faith (at least one based on there having been no relevant use) for a six month period from the date of initiation of the ADR procedure.

Conclusions

The .eu domain name dispute procedure is in its infancy. At the time of writing there is a steady stream of decisions coming out of the Czech Arbitration Court. The majority of those are complaints about EURid’s failure to properly apply the Regulation during the sunrise period. Our reading of the EURid rules is that they are more pro-complainant than the UDRP. If that is right, a higher level of complaints can be expected than under the UDRP.

How To Choose Web Hosting

The Asian market is projected to increase by 15% per year until 2008. It should be noted that this prediction does not include the Japanese growth rate. Europeans spent 1.8 billion dollars for hosting in 2003 and expectations for the coming years even higher. According to the Market Researchers, the European hosting market will reach $6.8 billion by the end of 2005. In the UK only consumers and businesses will spend $1.7 billion for hosting in 2005.

Attracted by the good omens many of the new hosts get down to work without having a complete service solution or a plan how on their business development. As usual with newcomers, the brand new companies often try to beat down the prices or start offering high rate, or even unlimited transfer and space to the potential customer. By flooding the market with a “mess of big promises” providers only confuse most people who seek hosting services. Many of the new companies fail to meet requirements and as a result the industry’s quality of service does not live up to expectations.

We have to work hard to prevent this situation of having a large number of unhappy customers. The industry should introduce more strict rules and standards that must be respected by both providers and customers. Of course we shall also keep the market open and to prevent any chance of an oligarchy led by a few big corporations.

How to keep the hosting industry’s growth is a substantial debate. Realizing the importance of this issue I can put in my thoughts into the discussion. Here are my suggestions and advice to new web hosting companies and especially for those who need to choose their new web hosting provider.

Make your Own Research

Forget Testimonials at the host’s page. Although we also have them and what is written are true opinions, no doubt, you have to see for yourself if the company is as reliable as it claims. Just contact them and ask for information you will need to know. “Where is their data center located?”, “What happens if I exceed a bandwidth limit?”, “Do you provide basic help with scripting?”, “Am I going to have full control over my domain and if not do you register the domain at customer’s name?” etc. Ask any question that might affect on your online business.

Ask for reviews

Ask for reviews about particular provider in the leading hosting/webmaster forums. This way you will be able to find out more about host’s reputation among its peers. You will see what are the pros and cons of the service. Note there is no “perfect provider” but there are a lot of awful ones.

Check for Provider’s Business Establishment

Check if a host states its business address or phone number. If a particular host doesn’t have this information on its web site or does not provide support phone number it may mean it have no physical offices. Hosts like these are not incorporated in any country. So they can go offline or close business anytime they want. Ask the hosting company representatives if it has legal presence; where are they incorporated and where do they pay their taxes. You should not really bring business and profits to people who are not responsible enough. Paying taxes is substantial engagement of any business worldwide. It is always better to support companies located in your own country if they provide good service at a low cost.

Require Phone Support

When choose a host be sure whether they provide phone support. Hosts generally provide phone support if they are reliable enough. It doesn’t need to be a Toll-Free phone but having one is an advantage.

Go for Companies That Offer Reasonable Pricing

Take a look at the host’s pricing. Price under $10 a month for 5 GB space / 150 GB transfer or more is not a good sign. It means the host oversells or tries to underbid the market. Stay Away!

Get Information about the Provider’s Policy

Make sure you check Host’s Policy. Some providers have very strange Terms of Service (TOS). They don’t take any responsibility for the service they provide and state in their TOS they can close your account for no reason anytime they decide. Be sure the provider respects its customers’ privacy and will not sell your contacts to third party.

Do Not Tolerate Illegal Activity

Avoid Spammers and Internet Piracy. I was spammed 4 years ago by company that now has a reputation of a good host; that doesn’t mean we should support spammers. So never sign up with spamming hosts! Keep in mind that a host that performs such illegal activity may at some point turn harm your direct interest as well.

Check Host’s Brand and Business History

Check host’s whois information! Go to archive.org and find more information about the previous business years of a hosting provider. If this company has a business experience in selling vegetables you cannot expect them to have good knowledge in providing reliable hosting services.

Support Competitive Providers

Do not ignore smaller hosting companies in favour of the “big guys”. Big players often don’t care about your web site simply because they host thousands of web sites like yours. This of course does not mean you necessarily have to go for hosting to the guy next door who runs a server in the basement. Spend some time to learn more about the offers you think are worth it.

Ask for Host’s Business Engagement

Ask the hosting provider for it’s business engagement. What are their plans to improve the service. How does the company contribute for the industry’s development?