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Sunrise period for .Africa TLD opens today

04-04-2017

The new top-level domain could provide companies that operate in the continent with a unique new marketing channel. However, with the volume of new domain name extensions being launched, it can be a challenge for brand owners to identify those gTLDs that warrant registrations, those that may need to be monitored for infringement, and those that they can safely ignore. Novagraaf provides a complimentary domain extension alert services that can help you keep on top of new and upcoming gTLD launches (sign up for free here).

Changes to the domain name system – in particular, the launch of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), such as the so-called dotBrands – have forced companies to re-evaluate their domain name registration and monitoring strategies. As the number of gTLDs has expanded, so too has the risk of cybersquatting, typosquatting and other forms of trademark infringement. However, expansion to the domain name system has heralded in opportunities too; in particular, the opportunity to market goods and services to specific, localised demographics. The new .Africa extension is a perfect example of this.

A sense of place
The sunrise period for the .Africa TLD launches today. If the continent is an important market for your brand, then the domain name may represent an important new marketing channel.

As with most TLD launches, registrations under this domain will follow three phases: sunrise, landrush and general availability:

  • Sunrise: 4 April 2017 – 2 June 2017
  • Landrush: 4 June 2017 – 9 June 2017
  • General Availability: 3 July 2017 - on

The sunrise period provides trademark owners with an early window to obtain domain names under the new TLD. (Unsure if you qualify for Sunrise? Find out more about the registration periods here.) Once it expires, Once the Sunrise period expires, domain names will be open to registration on a ‘first-come, first-served’ basis, at a slightly higher price premium (landrush), before general registration begins on 4 July.

Is .Africa right for you?
Continent-, country and city-based extensions can be effective marketing tools for companies that are seeking to target consumers in certain localised extensions. They can also work effectively for companies seeking to emphasise their relationship with a specific place. This also has benefits when it comes to Google searches.

However, with the volume of new domain name extensions being launched, it can be a challenge for brand owners to identify those gTLDs that warrant registrations, those that may need to be monitored for infringement, and those that they can safely ignore. Novagraaf provides a complimentary domain extension alert services that can help you keep on top of new and upcoming gTLD launches (sign up for free here).

We also recommend putting in place a clear domain name registration policy to ensure that you are protecting your trademark rights online in the most cost-effective manner. Click here for our five-step approach to aligning domain name registrations with IP and business strategy.

For more information and advice on domain name registrations, speak to your Novagraaf consultant or contact us.