Afilias acquires RegistryPRO.
Afilias has purchased Registry Services Corporation (d.b.a. RegistryPRO), which operates the .pro top level domain, from Hostway Corporation.
.Pro has an interesting history.
When .pro first launched the only way you could register a domain was at the third level. You were required to show credentials for each second level your domain was under, such as .law.
In 2005 domain registrar Encirca started offering a controversial service called ProForwarding. As a result, many seemingly generic second level domains were registered.
There was much outcry in the domain community over this service, even resulting in EnCirca challenging domain attorney Bret Fauset over his claim on his blog that “Non-credentialed individuals can now register second-level .PRO names en masse through Encirca’s new Bulk .PRO Registration form.â€
As of the end of September .pro had 117,264 registered domain names, according to reports submitted to ICANN. 43,493 of the registrations are at Hostway. Encirca has the second most registrations with 13,320.
Afilias isn’t new to the registry acquisition game. It purchased the dotMobi registry in February 2010.
RegistryPro has been active in filing trademark applications for top level domain names. It previously filed applications for .med.pro and .law.pro, but then upped the ante by filing for .med, dotmed, .law, and dotlaw.