.au Domain Administration Ltd’s (auDA) 2015 Names Policy Review Panel has recommended that domain names should be able to be registered directly at .au (like maddocks.au) as well as in the existing second level domains (like maddocks.com.au).

This mirrors the approach recently taken by the administrators of the .uk and .nz domains, as well as the explosion of new generic top level domains (gTLDs) like .melbourne, .sydney, .sucks etc.

In order to register a domain name directly under .au an applicant would need to demonstrate that they meet eligibility requirements and, unlike many other domains, it won’t be an open slather approach.

The Panel has recognised that, as with the establishment of the new gTLDs, a disadvantage of opening .au to direct registration is that many registrants of existing names will feel the need to register directly at .au simply as a defensive measure to protect their existing brands.

A number of other recommendations have also been made by the Panel.

Submissions on the proposed recommendations can be made until 30 September 2015.

If you have any questions about domain names or any other IP or technology matter, don’t hesitate to contact Rob Gregory or any other member of Maddocks’ Technology and IP teams.