.au Licensing Rules: Trademarks and Eligibility for .au Domain Names

The new .au Licensing Rules change how being an owner or applicant of a registered Australian Trademark enables a person to meet the Australian presence test.

Under the new .au Licensing Rules, when using a registered Australian trademark or application for one as the basis for a domain name application:

  • The trademark registered or applied for must be or include a word mark
  • The domain name applied for must be an exact match of that word mark

An exact match allows the exclusion of:

  • any corporate identifiers  - INC, Pty Ltd, LLC etc.
  • Definite and indefinite articles such as ‘the’, ‘and’, ‘of’ etc.
  • DNS identifiers such as ‘com.au’, ‘com’ etc.

Once the new .au Licensing Rules come into effect, auDA will refer only to the ‘word’ section of the registration in the IP Australia Trademark Register when assessing the trademark as to whether an overseas person satisfies the Australian presence rule (which includes an allocation rule).

What’s changed

In the current rules, only a trademark is referred to, not an accompanying word mark.

What does this mean for me?

If your eligibility for your.au domain name is based on your ownership or application for an Australian registered trademark, there must be an associated word mark for you to remain eligible.

The changes apply to names created or renewed after the new Licensing rules come into effect.

The commencement date of the new rules will be announced soon.

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