Sladen Snippet – .MELBOURNE, .MONASH, .AFL? – Internet expansion with new top level domain

It’s happening. The internet is changing, growing, expanding.  The .com domain will soon be competing with specific business-owned domains for greater visibility and control on the internet.  What does this all mean?

It means there will be many more domain names available for registration.  Business will have the ability to carve their own personal internet space by obtaining their own top level domain. And us internet users will see, over time, many more top level domains emerging so web addresses will change too.

There have currently been over 250 new top level domains approved. Some of those include .COMPANY, .BUILDERS, .EDUCATION, .SUPPLIES, .BAR, .COOKING, .ENGINEERING, .HOMES, .NAVY and .TOKYO.  In Australia, the Victorian Government has been approved to operate the .MELBOURNE domain and Monash University has obtained the .MONASH domain.

Other top level domains sought by Australian businesses or organisations includes .AFL, .SEVEN, .SBS, .ISELECT, .WEBJET, .IINET, .COMMBANK, .ANZ, .CEO., TENNIS, .CPA, .MOVIE, .SYDNEY, .TAB and .YELLOWPAGES.

ICANN, the coordinating body for domain names, expects over 1,300 new domains becoming available in the next few years.

Although the expansion will allow big brands to obtain a unique avenue to communicate with their customers and allow smaller businesses to make online affiliations in new domain spaces, there is also an increased risk of internet cybersquatting and brand or trade mark infringement.  Businesses will need to make sure:

  • their scope of online protection through domain name registrations are up to date;
  • all important trade marks are registered in each country of interest; and
  • all important trade marks are registered with the Trade Mark Clearinghouse which was set up to protect registered trade mark owners’ rights.

If you would like further information about the new top level domains or how to protect your business, please contact us.

Daniel Smedley
Sladen Legal
+61 411 319 327 | +61 3 9611 0105

Michelle Dowdle
Special Counsel
Sladen Legal
+61 3 9611 0114  | +61 408 674 2564