Internationalised Domain Names

Verisign Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs) enable more businesses around the world to create a localised web experience with a domain name in the local language. Open a world of opportunity with new customers, new registrations and expanding web services.


In 1996, approximately two-thirds of all users were in the United States so ASCII (Latin-based) characters served well for most active users online. According to the 2012 State of the Global and Local Internet Comscore report, the non-English speaking Internet population has grown to 87 per cent, with the Asia-Pacific region accounting for 41.1 per cent of the Internet users in the world.

Verisign has been at the forefront of delivering domain names that are more accessible and relevant to the growing number of multilingual end users and businesses today. In 2000, Verisign introduced IDNs at the second level (left of the dot) for .com and .net. In 2012, Verisign applied for the localisations of both .com and .net as part of ICANN’s new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) program to deliver a full IDN experience in many end users’ own script (left and right of the dot). This represents an opportunity to ease Internet navigation for billions of users across the globe and give businesses and individuals the opportunity to benefit from Verisign’s experience as the trusted registry operator of .com and .net.

Facilitating Brand Protection and Helping to Provide a Ubiquitous Experience Across Languages

In considering our strategy to implement our new IDN gTLDs, Verisign sought to achieve several objectives. Chief among these objectives were, where feasible, to avoid costs to consumers and businesses by purely defensive registrations in these new TLDs, as well as, to avoid end-user confusion.

A registrant of an IDN.com or IDN.net or registrant in one of our new IDN TLDs will have the sole right, subject to applicable rights protection mechanisms, but not be required to register the same second level name across all or any of our IDN TLDS, including .com or .net TLD as applicable.


In order to illustrate our approach, we have identified two use cases below:

Use Case No. 1: Bob Smith already has a registration for an IDN.net second level domain name. That second level domain name will be unavailable in all of the new .net TLDs except to Bob Smith. Bob Smith may choose not to register that second level domain name in any of the new transliterations of the .net TLDs.

Use Case No. 2: John Doe does not have a registration for an IDN.com second level domain name. John Doe registers a second level domain name in our Thai transliteration of .com but in no other TLD. That second level domain name will be unavailable in all other transliterations of .com IDN TLDs and in the .com registry unless and until John Doe (and only John Doe) registers it in another .com IDN TLD or in the .com registry.

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