From 10am today, trademark owners in the European Union will be entitled to apply for a .eu domain name.

The companies will have until the 7 February 2006 before the .eu name is opened up to any company looking to show their European credentials.

The registry owner of .eu, EURid has said that it will check each application, however with large numbers of legitimate trademark owners of the same trademark across the 25 member states its not expected to be an easy job.

Companies who don't have a trademark can apply for a .eu domain name in February, but they will only be able to apply for company name, distinctive titles, unregistered trademarks and tradenames.

Everyone else will have to wait a further 2 months until 7 April to register a domain when the option is opened to the public.

Meanwhile, last week, ICANN the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, delayed a decision to approve the .xxx domains for adult and porn websites until some time next year at its annual meeting in Vancouver.