Volkswagen allowed to register VW.de

Volkswagen gets VW.deFrankfurt-based domain registry Denic does not allow the registration of two-letter .de domain names. But German carmaker Volkswagen has always wanted to own VW.de, because the company is widely known under this acronym and thus wants to protect its brand on the Internet.

That's why Volkswagen has recently sued Denic for the domain. The Frankfurt court now entitled Volkswagen to VW.de and said Denic would have to make the domain name available to the carmaker.

There are only few exceptions to the blocking of two-letter .de domains, namely ix.de, hq.de and Deutsche Bahn's DB.de. All of these domains were registered many years ago when the Internet was still in its infancy.

The Frankfurt court has made a decision in favor of Volkswagen, because Denic's not-for-registration rule would discrimate Volkswagen and its well-known brand name. Denic has appealed against the judgement, but the appeal was rejected. Against this rejection Denic has filed another complaint, so the court ruling isn't effective yet. But as it looks the ruling will not be revoked, which means that Volkswagen will most likely be the owner of VW.de very soon.

Although the court decision does not force Denic to make two-letter domains available for registration in general, it is possible that other companies will now sue Denic for their company acronyms, too. Will it only be a question of time until two-letter .de domains will be made publicly available? Just as two-letter or one-letter .com domains, they're very rare and highly valuable. Denic's take on this subject seems to be clear, but I think the German registry provider could also be going to auction the remaining two-letter domains off in the future. We will see.

6 thoughts on “Volkswagen allowed to register VW.de”

  1. LOL, I have a lot of 4L.com and other VW acronym names. haha I think its cool that they get to register the name but I wish they would buy one of mine. LOL

    Rich

  2. Yes, i also probably own next best domain to vw.com lol, small world

    however why are they obsessed with getting vw.de and bullying to get it?
    they own vw.com, surely it doesnt get any better?

  3. Being a German company, Volkswagen must make sure it can easily be found in Germany, too. Germans preferably use .DE domains; they won't type in VW.com as their first choice.

    Germany is one of the few countries where the ccTLD is in fact more popular than .COM.

    That's why owning both versions certainly makes sense for VW, or any other company doing business in Germany, even if they have to spend money on legal actions in order to get the domain.

  4. On a similar note but for .com, the original Network Solutions Inc (now LLC) was sued for not allowing registration of domain names bearing "dirty words". It was eventually rendered moot, but it showed how much a price they paid.

    They've changed their mind since then. And at least Denic tried, albeit it also cost them.

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