22nd September 2014
The new .nz domains are coming out soon and at Touch Marketing we are getting enquiries from our clients asking what they should do. Should they register and buy a .nz domain or not for their business and what are the advantages of doing do?
First of all I am not a lawyer and this is just my opinion as an internet marketer.
My understanding from reading the document put out by the domain authorities here is as follows.
There appears to be a robust qualification required by a company or an individual to express interest in registering and acquiring .nz domain name if they have no claim over it currently i.e they don’t own the primary .co.nz, however this requirement expires in 6 months time and after that time the .nz domain will be open to the public for purchase.
It is at this time branding trademark issues could arise if the brand owner has made no attempt to claim the domain.
For instance coke.nz would have trademark restrictions that could be challenged in court.
Previously New Zealand had no restrictions on domain purchases and many problems with domain name ownership particularly when brands were concerned prevailed so the current “qualification” and “PRR” Preferential Registration or Reservation s a good thing in my opinion. The qualification period is put in place to protect the person most entitled to the domain i.e the person with the .co.nz or the trademark owner potentially. However after that period my understanding is trademark and patents will still win over domain ownership legally.
Some cases will be straight forward and some very complex.
Having a brand such as ABC and owning the domain abc.co.nz should be a no brainer to who legally owns the .nz domain name. The current owner will get PRR (PRR (Preferential Registration or Reservation) status and as mentioned there is a 6 months allocation to own the domain and then it will open up to all in sundry. Potentially trademark restrictions should apply after the 6 months but there will be people trying out there So if you are concerned about it, and want to avoid any unnecessary future challenges then pre-register now. You have until 1pm 30 March 2015.
After the 6 months PRR status is finished it will potentially get trickier when some one owns a keyword domain such as
and their competitors own
Apologies for the over the top example above however you get the idea. Who is rightfully entitled to a shorter .nz domain with similar keywords in it after the 6 month period has elapsed? Both owners could try to get rosepruning.nz as example laying claim to it based on their current domain names and assuming the .co.nz owner has not registered it already. There are many nuances of this example to confuse the situation even more.
If we (Touch Marketing) are controlling your domain name we would be happy to assist with any pre registrations on your behalf. You cannot be guaranteed to secure the .nz domain if you hold what is classified as a secondary domain currently which I believe to be the .net.nz and .org.nz . The information below is from the domain registrar website and if this applies to you then you will need to wait the full 6 months and see if the domain you are chasing is available.
.nz domain names that cannot be registered directly at the second level. These names include ‘gov’, ‘government’, ‘com’, ‘edu’, ‘nic’.
The other consideration is what will you do with the domain name if you buy it now ?
One way to look at it is you will never be challenged after the 6 months period for your domain if you secure it now however you will need to pay annual renewal which will be nominal. Future challenges will be alleviated and you never know you may want to put a new website on it to gain more traffic.
Hope that helps you