Law Firm AJ Park is warning New Zealand domain name holders to move quickly to secure their names in the new .biz or .info space - or risk losing them to cyber-squatters.
"Many New Zealand companies have not been able to secure a .com registration for their major brands. There is a short window of opportunity for trademark owners to express interest in their trademarks under these new domain addresses, before potential cyber-squatters get there first," says trademark lawyer Andrew Collins.
Trademark owners have first dibs on their own names under the new suffixes, but Collins says they must move quickly to secure them.
"It is very important that New Zealand companies with an international business look to take advantage of the opportunity provided to protect their most significant brand or brands, to avoid the 'land grab' that went on by cyber-squatters and others over the .com registrations."
Existing trademark owners have until October 1 to register their prior claim - after that names are allocated on a first-come first-served basis.
These two names are the first to be approved for addition to the domain name space since the domain name system became operational in the mid-1980s. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) finalised accreditation agreements for .biz and .info earlier this month.
"This is a momentous step forward in the continuing evolution of the internet's domain name system," says Vint Cerf, chairman of the ICANN board of directors. "However, it is just one step among many in a long process of providing consumers with the benefits of competition through a variety of domain name options and services."
The .info space will be an unrestricted top-level domain, open to any business or person to register for any purpose, while .biz will be a restricted top-level domain open only for commercial or business purposes.