Every time a new TLD launches the registry operators have to come up with ways of distributing “premium” names.
Premium names are the “super” domains that are usually dictionary words or close to them. These domains are easy to remember and easy to get to. The most heavily demanded ones are usually related to the adult industry, so it’s not surprising to see that there is always a heavy demand for sex.tld (where tld is the TLD in question)
In the case of dotEU Eurid ran a couple of “sunrise” periods, which were open to trademark and other prior rights holders ie. entities that had a valid claim on a name via a trademark or other method. Even though dotEU has been up and running for some time there are still plenty of legal battles being fought over the sunrise domains.
With dotAsia they have opted for a number of sunrise periods as well, but they also added in an auction scheme to make it more “interesting”. If more than one request was made for a domain name in landrush then the domain is automatically put into an auction which is being managed by Pool. What makes it all the more interesting is that some people are suspecting foul play.
Personally I find the entire system of auctions quite confusing and frustrating, as I’ve ended up bidding against myself for at least one name. I won’t be able to use the domain until someone wins the auction!
Oh well… hopefully dotTel will do a better job of their launch!