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With the growing interest in domain registration and investment around the globe, there is a lot going on in the domain marketplace. Some of more notable developments are provided below:

The Finnish Domain Authority is running .FI typo-squatting investigation, examining intentionally misspelled Finnish domain names registered via a Malta-based registrar. As many as 886 domain names of Finnish companies and services are being investigated. Currently, the Maltese registration provider has been denied the right to register new Finnish domain names until other announcement is made. The investigative activities may eventually lead to the annulment of all .FI domains registered by the compromised Maltese registrar.

Malian top level domain .ML will finally be accessible to all applicants irrespectively of location or nationality. Sunrise application period for trademark holders ends May 31 and will be followed by live launch on June 1, 2013 after which registration for normal .ML domain is real time on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications gathered during the Sunrise period will be accumulated and will undergo a verification process.

Central African domain .CF will also be available to applicants from all parts of the globe, regardless of location or nationality. The .CF domain names will finally be unrestricted and obtainable to all registrants following the Sunrise application period reserved for trademark owners. Sunrise period ends May 31 and will be followed by Landrush for regular .CF domains. Open registration is scheduled for June 1, 2013 on a first-come, first-served basis.

Beginning May 2013, the Singapore domain registration authority will require verification of domain name owners changing or applying for new .SG domains. This measure is the result of previous cases of identity theft and fraudulent registration of .SG domain names using fake identities.

The new procedure will be required for both second level .SG domains (which are semi-restricted) and third level .COM.SG names. The amount and type of names a registrant may apply for is not restricted, however a local administrative contact must be provided. The new procedures require that the Admin-C of a new domain registration must send a verification of the contact information and identity of the new .SG or .COM.SG domain registrant via email to the registry. The admin-c must be a resident of Singapore! It is important to note that this new procedure will only affect future owner changes of existing domain names (and not existing .SG or .COM.SG domain name registrations).

The number of Croatian .HR domain name registrations increase rapidly – in spite of the local presence requirements. As Croatia is expected to become the 28th member state of the European Union, it is anticipated that a number of new European as well as overseas companies will open their business offices there. Croatia, viewed mainly as a touristic country, is expected to become the next Mediterranean jewel international companies to do business with. The EU membership is expected to bring about a rapid increase in trade between Croatia and other EU member countries as well as important economies worldwide.

Croatia’s own country code top-level domain (ccTLD) .HR is becoming more and more popular, as local companies prefer to use it to other extensions such as .EU, .COM etc. own country code top-level domain (ccTLD). Internationally minded companies have a great opportunity to introduce their brands to the Croatian market by registering their .HR domains through a truly local website. Studies show that using a local domains instills trust and recognition online.