Trade mark owners could begin applying for .kiwi domain names as early as mid-August this year, but only if they have recorded their marks with the Trademark Clearinghouse.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has officially approved Dot Kiwi's bid to offer website addresses ending in .kiwi, which will be among the first of several hundred new gTLDs to open for business later this year.
Dot Kiwi chief executive Tim Johnson has announced .kiwi addresses may be available to the general public by November. Before this, a Sunrise Period of at least 60 days is expected to run from September, offering trade mark owners the chance to apply for domain names that match their marks, and prevent "cybersquatters" taking them.
Only Clearinghouse-registered trade mark owners will be able to participate in the Sunrise Period. Registering with the Clearinghouse does have some associated costs, however once a mark is registered, owners can also participate in Sunrise Periods for any other new gTLD registries. Many hundred new registries are expected to open in the next few years, and different trade mark owners will likely want to snap up domain names of particular interest to them. Registering with the Clearinghouse can also help you protect your trade marks by alerting you if anyone else tries to register a domain name that matches your mark.
Johnson, an expat Kiwi now living in Canada, said Dot Kiwi would donate 10 per cent of its revenues to assist with the Christchurch rebuild. Prices for new domain names in the .kiwi registry have not been determined yet.