New licensing rules now apply to Australian domain name registration, including.com.au and.net.au.

In particular, the new rules apply to all Australian domain names Registered or renewed after April 12, 2021. If your Australian domain name does not comply with the new rules (once it is valid for your domain name) it can be suspended or canceled.

In short, overseas companies that own Australian domain names and do not have an Australian Registered Body Number (ARBN) must now have an Australian trademark application or registration that is essentially the exact same thing as the words in that domain name. Otherwise this domain name can be suspended or deleted.

The ability to save domain names has opened up for companies based in Australia. Expanding your domain name portfolio to maximize access to your website is an option for you.

Australian domain name owners registered prior to April 12, 2021 will be able to judge whether their domain name complies with the new rules and, if not, with the time they have before the domain name renewal If so, apply a suitable strategy to ensure the domain name will meet the new rules on renewal.

Foreign owners beware

The new rules maintain the threshold requirement for Australian domain name owners to have an Australian presence, but how overseas companies can meet this requirement is now limited.

Do you have an Australian trademark application / registration?

Unless a non-Australian domain name holder does not own an ARBN, they must rely on an Australian trademark application or registration to establish the Australian presence requirement and The domain name must be a exact match with the words which are the subject of the Australian trademark (excluding domain name extension, punctuation and a, das, and or from and &).

It is not enough for the overseas owner’s domain name to be abbreviated, to be an acronym for their Australian trademark, or to include a word from it.

Example:

Australian owners are considering new registrations

Australian businesses, businesses, governments and owners organizations will readily meet the requirements of the Australian presence. However, Australian companies should continue to check that their domain name complies with the assignment rules and also consider registering a wider range of domain names as the assignment rules are easier to meet.

Are you maximizing your domain name portfolio?

Domain names can be registered to redirect to a major domain name website, collecting more traffic to a business.

For example, for domain names from.com.au and.net.au, the new rules allow the registration of domain names that game or are a acronym of Domain name owner Brand, company, business, legal, personal name, or name of its affiliate, partnership, or trust company (of which it is the trustee), or game or are a synonym a service, a product, an event, an activity or a company premises that an owner provides / operates.

Example:

What now?

Foreign companies:

Get a list of your Australian domain names and check:

  • 1. Are your Australian domain names owned by an Australian registered Australian subsidiary or a foreign corporation (with an ARBN)? YES? No further action is required as long as the domain names comply with the assignment rules. For the domain names com.au and.net.au, this also includes these game or are a acronym of Domain name owner Brand, company, business, legal, personal name, or name of its affiliate, partnership, or trust company (of which it is the trustee), or game or are a synonym a service, a product, an event, an activity or a company premises that an owner provides / operates. Complications can arise if the Australian.com.au or.net.au The domain name is owned by the Australian subsidiary, but the overseas company owns the registered Australian trademark. You may need to verify that the Australian subsidiary can meet the assignment rules based on the domain name a game or are a synonym a service, product, event, activity or premises that an owner provides / operates instead of based on the domain name a game or are a acronym of Domain name owner Trademark, as the domain name owner and trademark owner are different in this scenario and the latter criteria would not apply.
  • 2. If your Australian domain names are not owned by Australian companies that do not have an ARBN, then you have an Australian trademark that exactly matches the word element (s) (excluding the domain name extension, punctuation and a, the, and, or, of and &) of the domain name? YES? No further action is required. NO? If you want to keep the domain name, please note:
  • 3. Registration of an Australian trademark to comply with the new rules; OR
  • 4. Transfer ownership of your Australian domain name to an Australian subsidiary and consider entering into an agreement with that subsidiary for ownership of the domain name. Both the transferor and the acquirer must be authorized to hold the domain name at the time of transfer. However, if the domain name was registered before April 12, 2021, the transferor only needs to fulfill the eligibility according to the old rules (which applied before April 12, 2021), while the acquirer is checked for eligibility and allocation under the new rules. OR
  • 5. Register your overseas company in Australia. Since the old rules will apply to a domain name registered before April 12, 2021 until that domain name is renewed (or transferred), you have time to develop a strategy, i.e. until the next renewal deadline.

Australia owner

Get a list of your Australian domain names and check:

  • 1. Does the domain name comply with the allocation rules? For the domain names com.au and.net.au this includes the game or are a acronym of Domain name owner Brand, company, business, legal, personal name, or name of its affiliate, partnership, or trust company (of which it is the trustee), or game or are a synonym a service, a product, an event, an activity or a company premises that an owner provides / operates.
  • 2. Can you use your brand / business / company name and register additional domain names?
  • 3. Can you expand your domain name portfolio to include company-related terms?

Businesses should take action now and consider the strategy best suited to their circumstances, including registering any trademark or domain name required.