Africa: ZACR Now Urges Organisations to Register Under .africa Domains

21 April 2017


Trademark owners who don't register dotAfrica (.africa) domain names matching their brand names during the sunrise phase, which commenced on 4 April and will run until 2 June, could find themselves incurring significant legal costs later on, warns the ZACR.

According to BizTech Africa, The complexities involved in trying to wrest intellectual property away from those who would have snapped up the available domain names after the sunrise phase are innumerable.

Proactive trademark owners have already started securing their .africa domain names before the new .africa geographic Top Level Domain (gTLD) is launched to the public during the General Availability (GA) phase from 04 July 2017.

ZACR also says that during GA, domain names will be registered on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, trademark owners who do not secure their .africa domain names during the current 60-day Sunrise phase may not be able to guarantee the availability of their .africa domain names from GA onwards.

According to the dotAfrica Website the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN) approved the launch plan and dates for .africa. ICANN's approval of the .africa Launch Plan has triggered a final countdown process starting on 4 April 2017 leading to General Availability on 4 July 2017 when the public can apply for .africa domain names.

The website further states that the confirmation of the .africa launch dates follows the delegation by ICANN of the rights to administer the new, pan-African .africa gTLD to ZACR on 15 February 2017. Delegation means .africa names can be published on the web.

The launch schedule has the following phases and dates.

Sunrise-4 April 2017 - 2 June 2017: Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) Sunrise for rights holders that have registered their trademark.

Landrush- 5 June 2017 - 30 June 2017: Registrations are open to everyone through an ICANN accredited registrar.

General Availability- 4 July, 2017: Domains will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The website further outlines the benefits of a dotAfrica domain name for brand owners which include; showcasing the brand and it's commitment to the continent, establishing a home for Africa-specific products and services, and expanding the brand's regional influence, acquiring valuable online real-estate in a fast-growing and high-potential market.

Source: CIO East Africa