On 30 September 2014 New Zealand's Domain Name Commission
(DNC) is opening registration for domain names with the suffix
Any owner of a New Zealand website, such as
"www.anyname.co.nz", will soon have the opportunity to
register or reserve the shorter domain name,
Available .nz domain names will generally be offered on a
first-in first-served basis, however the DNC have launched a
fairness-based system to give preferential status (PRE status) to
those who own existing ".co.nz" domain names, who wish to
also register a shorter ".nz" domain name. After 6
months, the PRE status will be withdrawn, however, and the domain
names will be available to the wider public.
The DNC website contains a search tool to allow anyone to check
the status and availability of any ".nz" domain names
that they are interested in.
We note that the DNC does not prevent or restrict people from
registering new .nz domain names which might infringe the
intellectual property rights of others. PRE status is given only to
those with current .co.nz domain names, and registered trademarks
are not specifically considered by DNC as part of the registration
The DNC anticipates that disputes will arise where a party
registers a .nz domain name, in breach of another party's
rights or interests in that same name. To accommodate and resolve
these disputes DNC have set up a free dispute resolution service to
assist. Further information about this service is available via the
DNC website. If
following 30 September 2014 you find yourself in a domain name
dispute we invite you to contact us to discuss your options and how
we can assist you.
It is possible that scalpers might reserve a range of domain
names in the hope that someday, someone will pay big money for
them. If you have a .co.nz domain name and want to secure your
online patch, taking the opportunity to register a .nz domain now
might well save you a dispute in future.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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