Register (domain name)

Since every domain name must be a unique identifier, domain name registries have been created to assign domains to specific individuals and organizations (domain “registrants”). When a domain is registered, that domain is assigned to its registrant and is no longer available for registration by any other party.

Typically, domain name registries charge an initial registration fee and subsequent renewal fees associated with the right to use a domain. These prices vary from one domain registry to another, and often vary on the basis of the top-level domain (TLD) in question – like .com, .net and .org. Some ‘sponsored’ TLDs, like the adult entertainment-specific TLD .xxx, cost significantly more than other domain types.

While the development of the commercial Internet didn’t occur until several years later, domain name registration began in 1985 for names on the .com, .net, .org, .edu, .mil, .arpa and .gov TLDs.

Occasionally, there are disputes concerning the proper ownership of a domain name, disputes that often arise from intellectual property rights conflicts. While registrars generally rely on the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP), such disputes are sometimes settled by the World Intellectual Property Organization, or WIPO, which is comprised of 186 member nations and administers 26 different international treaties concerning intellectual property rights.