Way back in 2012, NIC PA announced the Sunrise Period for second-level domains under .pa. Only registrants of a third-level domain could apply for the corresponding name directly under .pa. For example:
The registrant of acme.com.pa was eligible to apply for acme.pa, but only if acme.com.pa was registered or before January 31, 2012.
The specific end date for Sunrise wasn’t announced, although the registry indicated that it would be later in that year.
Fast forward to July 2017 and the Sunrise still hadn’t ended. However, this month NIC PA did make one change: The cut-off date determining whether a third-level domain entitled its registrant to request the corresponding .pa was moved up to December 31, 2014.
The real breakthrough came just recently on June 4, 2018. Now there is no longer a cut-off date and the registrant of a third-level domain can now apply for the corresponding second-level name, regardless of the latter’s registration date. This opened the door to the following maneuver:
- Registrant is interested in acme.pa
- They register acme.com.pa, without any real interest in this domain
- By virtue of having registered acme.com.pa, the registrant can immediately apply for acme.pa
Unfortunately for latecomers, the date on which the third-level domain was registered still serves as a tie-breaker if the same domain is registered under multiple third-level extensions. For example:
- Person A registered acme.com.pa in 2017
- Person B registered acme.net.pa in 2018
- Person A has the right of first refusal to register acme.pa
While saavy domainers secured third-level domains years back in anticipation of such a rule, that doesn’t preclude use of this maneuver to register desirable domains now. .com.pa has a fairly modest number of domains registered, so there are still single-word and three-character strings that can easily be secured under .pa in this manner.