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auDA com.au and net.au domain changes

15 March 2021

Holders of com.au and net.au domain names may have received a notification of changes from auDA which affect their eligibility for their .org.au domain or domains.

We urge everyone to take this change seriously, as a loss of a domain can affect your website, business, stationery, business cards, advertising, and email address.

The message from auDA continues below (emphasis added by us).


Who does this change apply to?

This change only applies to registrants who:

  • rely on an Australian trade mark, or application for one, to meet the Australian presence requirement for a com.au or net.au domain name; and
  • their com.au/net.au domain name does not meet the definition of an exact match.

Registrants located in Australia who meet the Australian presence test another way are not impacted by this change.

What the change is

Paragraph 2.4.5 of the new rules states if you use an Australian trade mark to meet the eligibility criteria for a com.au or net.au name, the domain name must be an exact match of the words which are the subject of that trade mark. For example:

Trade mark:

A Pretty Horse Carousels

Current rules:

  • phc.com.au,
  • carousels.net.au,
  • aprettyhorse.com.au,
  • horsecarousels.com.au

New rules:

  • aprettyhorsecarousels.com.au
  • aprettyhorsecarousels.net.au
  • prettyhorsecarousels.com.au
  • prettyhorsecarousels.net.au

What you need to do

First you should check if your domain name or names meet the definition of an exact match in paragraph 2.4.5 of the new .au Licensing rules.

If your domain name is not an exact match of the words in your Australian trademark, and you plan to renew it, you will need to take action to ensure you are eligible to hold it.

However, please note if this involves changing the legal entity the name is registered to, the name will need to be transferred to that entity.

When this change takes place

The new licensing rules for the .au ccTLD are effective as of 12 April 2021. If your current domain name licence expires after this date, your name will become subject to the new rules if or when you renew it. The rules in place when you last renewed your name apply until the end of the current licence period.


Related link

Chirp office closed while we vaccinate »

« auDA org.au rule changes


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