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.biz domain draws 2 million applicants

US-based Neulevel Inc, the registry for .biz, has received 2 million applications for the top-level domain (TLD).

SINGAPORE--US-based Neulevel Inc, the registry for .biz, has received 2 million applications for the top-level domain (TLD).

Of these, many are probably small- and medium-sized companies that couldn't successfully establish a brand name in the .com world, speculated Neulevel vice president for Sales and Business Development Richard Tindal in a press briefing this morning.

The new TLD was given the green light last November by Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the technical coordination body for the Internet, and accredited to Neulevel on May 15.

According to Tindal, .biz will be "for businesses only", unlike the .com domain--"a messy place crowded with many personal sites". (VeriSign Global Registry Services is the registry for the .com, .net and .org domains.)

Small- and medium-sized companies would also benefit from Neulevel's value-added directory, evaluation and security services, he added.

The directory service aims to increase the visibility of .biz sites, including sending company domain names and profiles to search engines and directory service portals. Meanwhile, the evaluation services would aim to verify that companies are who they claim to be--an important element in preventing fraud in the e-commerce world, he said. Neulevel is also in talks with other third parties to provide secure transaction services, but Tindal declined to provide details.

Many registrars have reportedly started registration queues for .biz since January. Queuing ends on September 17, and registration for the .biz domain officially opens on October 1.

Since May 21, an Intellectual Property (IP) Claim Service has also been available through Neulevel and many of its .biz registrars. The service, which is slated to end August 6, aims to filter out cybersquatters by allowing companies to register their trademarks and service marks with Neulevel.

Applicants that have filed for the same .biz domain names will be notified by email between September 17 and October 1. Should there be a dispute, the domain in question will be frozen for 30 days, said Tindal. Parties in dispute can approach World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for resolution, he said.

Neulevel is a joint venture between US-based NeuStar Inc, a registry responsible for managing telephone numbers in the US, and Australia's domain name registrar Melbourne IT Ltd.