Tuesday 12 November 2013

First dot Kiwi domains going up for sale

Dot Kiwi Limited has announced applications will open tomorrow, 13 November 2013, for a limited number of 'premium' domain names in the .kiwi registry. A 60-day Sunrise Period for trade mark owners is scheduled to begin in December, but first, a selection of names will be made available during a short application period which will last up to no longer than the end of November. Dot Kiwi's CEO Tim Johnson has confirmed only a 'fraction of a percentage' of the total names available will be reserved during this time.

Anyone can apply to register any domain name during the premium application period. Each application will be carefully assessed and if it is deemed appropriate, it will be reserved for the successful applicant. Mr Johnson has confirmed that applications made during the premium period will not pre-empt the rights of trade mark owners to apply for domain names matching their trade marks during the official Sunrise Period, which is expected to begin in mid-December. Domain names reserved during this period must also not conflict with other trade mark owners' rights in New Zealand. Even if a successful domain name application is made during the premium application period, Dot Kiwi will not be able to release it until the end of the official Sunrise Period.

Most domain names approved during this premium application period will cost NZ$300 + GST for a three-year registration. However, Dot Kiwi have advised they have an unpublicised list of 'premium names' which will cost more. Fees are payable only on registration - there is no cost to apply.

This is essentially a time when people who do not have registered trade marks can apply to register 'generic' or otherwise valuable domain names, before the general public. Dot Kiwi has identified possible premium names as including movies.kiwi, pizza.kiwi, bikes.kiwi, laptops.kiwi and shoes.kiwi. You can find out more about applying for these domains during the premium release at www.dot-kiwi.com, or you can contact AJ Park for more advice.

When the Sunrise Period for trade mark owners begins in December, only trade mark owners who have registered their marks with the Trademark Clearinghouse will be able to apply for the matching .kiwi domain name. There is still time to do this - registration usually only takes two to three weeks, and the Sunrise Period will last for 60 days.

After the Sunrise Period, the remaining domain names will become available to the general public - first during a 30-day 'landrush, and thereafter on a first come, first served basis. Dot Kiwi says it expects these general release names to cost about NZ$39 per year to register.

Other new gTLDs hitting the market

Other new gTLD registries are also selling off premium domain names before their Sunrise Period begins. A premium auction for 40 domain names under the .xyz and .college gTLDs started on 6 November, and includes domain names such as law.college and london.xyz. Meanwhile Donuts Inc, which has applied for more than 300 new gTLDs, has announced its Sunrise Period for the first seven Donuts names: .bike, .clothing, .guru, .holdings, .plumbing, .singles, and .ventures. The  Sunrise Period for trade mark owners will begin on 26 November 2013 and run until 24 January 2014. The cost of Donuts domain registrations during Sunrise is a Sunrise Participation Fee US$80 plus the domain registration fee. The registration fees are:

.BIKE - US$20
.CLOTHING - US$20
.GURU - US$20
.HOLDINGS US$ 33
.PLUMBING - US$20
.SINGLES - US$20
.VENTURES - US$33

Donuts has advised that some domain names will be premium priced.

More announcements about Sunrise Periods for other new gTLDs are expected in coming weeks.