Sort out your priorities! .au direct domain names launch on 24 March 2022
Australia’s country-code top-level domains (or ccTLDs) currently include ‘com.au’, ‘net.au’, ‘org.au’, ‘id.au’, ‘gov.au’, and ‘edu.au’.
As flagged in our news update of 9 September 2021 see here, a new ‘.au’ domain namespace will soon be available.
As of 13:00 AEDT on 24 March 2022, eligible registrants can apply for the new, shorter ‘.au’ direct ccTLD.
Time to get your priority!
Anyone who has an Australian presence, or local connection to Australia, will be eligible to register in the ‘.au’ namespace.
Importantly, registrants of .au domain names in existence as of 24 March 2022, will be eligible to apply for the Priority Allocation Process, which will place the domain names on ‘Priority Hold’ for a six month Priority Application Period ending on 20 September 2022.
Priority Hold prevents third parties from registering existing .au domain names in ‘.au’ direct form. This aims to provide existing registrants with the opportunity to register the ‘.au’ direct exact match of their existing domain names, subject to priority categories rules.
If you are considering registering in this new .au namespace or bolstering your domain name protection, we recommend you apply for priority from 24 March 2022, or secure a currently available .au domain name before 24 March 2022, in order to meet the Priority Access requirements.
In the meantime, we recommend checking that your current domain name registration details are up to date, especially if you are looking to claim priority on the .au direct namespace. We also recommend you obtain trade mark protection for your brand, as this locks up exclusivity in the name, and is a useful tool in domain name disputes.
If you would like assistance in registering a new .au direct domain name, or understanding the new auDA rules, please connect with a member of our Digital & Intellectual Property team.
Thank you to Harriet Young, Lawyer, for her assistance in preparing this article.
This publication covers legal and technical issues in a general way. It is not designed to express opinions on specific cases. It is intended for information purposes only and should not be regarded as legal advice. Further advice should be obtained before taking action on any issue dealt with in this publication.