Tens of thousands of trademark owners and public institutions rushed to register ".eu" top-level domain name on Wednesday after the new Internet address registration started on the day.
The registration began at 11:00 a.m. (1000 GMT), and in the first 15 minutes more than 40,000 requests were received, roughly 40 per second, said the European Registry of Internet Domain Names (Eurid), a non-profit organisation appointed by the European Commission to manage requests.
In the first three hours nearly 100,000 requests were recorded.
Eurid said the most requested domain name was sex.eu, while tickets.eu and hotel.eu were also sought after by entrepreneurs looking for an eye-catching address on the Internet.
Under this first phase of the registration process those with product brands or trade marks and public institutions have a two- month "sunrise period" in which to register their names.
In the two months that follow, applications from companies, non- brand names or even art works will be accepted. Individuals will have to wait until April 8, 2006 before trying to get access to their own veritable European piece of the Internet.
Eurid has accredited some 779 registration officers around the world, including in the United States and Japan, to receive requests for the ".eu" domain names.