Recent reports have indicated that auDA has started random audits to enforce the new licensing rules that were introduced on 12 April 2021. DNJ has seen an audit targeting foreign trademark owners who have relied on their trade mark as the basis of eligibility to hold their domain names.
Restrictions on Foreign Registrants
The new licensing rules specificially require foreign registrants to have exact match trademarks in order to remain eligible to hold domain names, for instance if Company LLC (an American Company) wanted to remain the registrant of sneakers.com.au then they would need to secure registration (or at least be an applicant for) of a trademark for the term sneakers.
Problem – What problem ?
The introduction of the new restriction was borne out of the Policy Review Panel, and aimed at solving a ‘problem’ of domain investors using trademarks as eligibility to hold .au domain names. Unfortunately this is a problem that doesn’t exist but instead real businesses that operate real businesses from the domain names are the unfortunate victims.
Is this a sign of things to come ? Tell us what you think