After more than two years of planning, Dot Kiwi has opened up its exclusive registration period for trademark holders, known as the Sunrise period, today.
Trademark holders have until March 17 to secure their trademark as a .kiwi domain name.
Following this date Dot Kiwi will review the applications, and for domain names with only one valid applicant Dot Kiwi will immediately register the domain name.
If there are multiple trademark holding applicants for the same domain name, all parties will be invited to bid for the domain name.
.kiwi is one of the hundreds of new domain names, known as generic top level domain names (gTLDs), launching online. In mid-March .kiwi will become one of the first in the world to officially launch to the public, meaning all New Zealanders will be able to register .kiwi domain names and immediately activate them.
Tim Johnson, CEO of Dot Kiwi, says individuals and businesses are getting excited to activate .kiwi domain names in the coming months and the Sunrise period is designed specifically to protect the rights of trademark holders.
“We know New Zealand businesses around the globe have been waiting to purchase .kiwi domain names, which means in some instances more than one trademark holder might exist for a certain name," he says.
"The Sunrise period gives everyone a level playing field to make sure they can get the domain names they want."
To qualify for the Sunrise period, companies need to register their trademark with the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH), an international entity created by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to protect the rights of trademark holders during and after the launch of new domain names such as .kiwi.
One organisation registering a .kiwi domain name during Sunrise is the New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL). The NZRL have been proactive about registering their trademark with the TMCH, leaving them free to register a .kiwi domain name during Sunrise.
“A .kiwi domain names is a great fit for our organisation," says Sarah Lewis, General Manager – Commercial of the New Zealand Rugby League.
"It helps us express who we are as an organisation and it connects to our national identity. It says much more about our organisation than our existing domain names.
“We’re in the process of developing our strategy for how we’re going to make the most out of the .kiwi domain name, but the first step for us was taking advantage of the Sunrise period."
Robert Rolls, Commercial and Finance Director of Digiweb, welcomes the introduction of further choice for businesses and consumers in New Zealand and globally with the launch of this exciting new domain name.
“The Sunrise period is a critical phase for trademark owners to head off any potential cybersquatting risk when .kiwi domains become more widely available during the General Availability phase,” says Rolls.
Information for trademark holders:
1. All trademark holder have until the 17th of March 2014 to register their trademark as a .kiwi domain name before sales to the general public begin
2. In order to register before the general public can, trademark holders need to register their trademark with the Trademark Clearinghouse
3. Visit www.dot-kiwi.com/sunrise to find out how to register with the Trademark Clearinghouse – it’s quick and easy
4. For domain names with only one applicant, after the 17th of March 2014 Dot Kiwi will immediately register the domain name
5. If there are multiple trademark holding applicants for the same domain name, all parties will be invited to bid for it after the 17th of March 2014.