South Africa based non-profit firm that operates various second-level domains in South Africa; ZA Central Registry (ZACR), according to new reports has warned ‘Trademark Owners’ who don’t register for the dotAfrica (.africa) domain names matching their brand names during the Sunrise Phase, which commenced on 4th April and is stated to run until 2nd June, 2017 could find themselves incurring significant legal costs later on.
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 4th July, 2017 and 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 Sunrise phase may not be able to guarantee the availability of their .africa domain names.
“The very real possibility of opportunists registering one’s trademarks exists and it is best prevented by the simple act of applying now for .africa domain names that match registered or validated intellectual property,” Lucky Masilela; CEO of ZA Central Registry said in a press statement.
According to Mr Masilela, .africa is the new top-level domain for the African continent.
“It is an African initiative created by Africans for the International Internet community. In order to ensure responsible growth, the .africa Registry will place special emphasis on securing the rights of intellectual property owners during the Sunrise Period,” he explained.
Africa is known for some of the world-leading brands such as; MultiChoice, Woolworths, Vodacom, Safaricom, Airtel, MTN, Samsung South Africa, Afrihost, Microsoft South Africa, to mention a few. And with a value in millions of dollars, these brands will require protection.
How to register for dotAfrica (.africa):
Onboarding to become Accredited and to offer .africa domain name to your clients.
source: dotAfrica and BizTech Africa