New rules for .au domain names take effect on 12 April 2021 and contain changes which may affect the eligibility for top level Australia domain names.

What the change is

Paragraph 2.4.5 of the new rules states if you use an Australian trade mark to meet the eligibility criteria for a com.au or net.au name, the domain name must be an exact match of the words which are the subject of that trade mark.

For example
Trade mark:

A Pretty Horse Carousels
Current rules:
phc.com.au,
carousels.net.au,
aprettyhorse.com.au,
horsecarousels.com.au

New rules:
aprettyhorsecarousels.com.au
aprettyhorsecarousels.net.au

You can find more on information on this change here: com.au and net.au rule changes.
https://www.auda.org.au/au-domain-names/new-au-licensing-rules

What you need to do

First you should check if your Australian domain name listed above meets definition of an exact match in paragraph 2.4.5 of the new .au Licensing rules.

If your domain name is not an exact match of the words in your Australian trademark, and you plan to renew it, you will need to take action to ensure you are eligible to hold it.

To remain eligible for your domain name you will need change the basis on which you meet the Australian present requirement.

However, please note if this involves changing the legal entity the name is registered to, the name will need to be transferred to that entity.
You can contact your registrar to update this information or perform a transfer if needed. Failure to take action on or before the 11th of April 2021, a domain name will be suspended as per auDA.

Recommendations

  1. Register your domain name as a Trademark
  2. Renew your domain name now, before the 12 April for as long as possible (i.e. 10 years)

Don’t panic! You have until your domain name expires to get it sorted

When this change takes place

The new licensing rules for the .au ccTLD are effective as of 12 April 2021.

If your current domain name licence expires after this date, your name will become subject to the new rules if you renew it. However, the rules in place when you last renewed your name apply until the end of the current licence period.

Not sure what to do?

Get in touch and we’ll give you the best advice on what to do. Contact Us.

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