.Africa is a new domain extension that has been launched recently.
It will become an important addition to the domain name portfolio of existing trade mark holders, international corporations and other organisations that have, or seek to have, a presence in Africa.
The launch provides for two periods within which it will be possible to apply for valid domain name protection, namely the Sunrise Phase and the Landrush Phase.
The Sunrise Phase is scheduled to take place from 4 April 2017 to 2 June 2017.
This phase is aimed at providing trade mark owners with priority to apply for a domain name corresponding to their registered trade mark. In the event that a dispute arises between competing applications, the African trade mark owner will be given priority to obtain the domain name.
The Landrush Phase is scheduled to take place from 5 June 2017 to 30 June 2017.
During this phase there will be no restrictions and domain name registrations will be open to any entity, at a higher cost. In the event that a dispute arises between two applicants for the same domain, the matter will be decided by way of an auction or bidding process.
Please let us know if we can of any assistance to you or your clients in respect to securing trademark protection for the new .Africa domain.