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New gTLD Updates | .AFRICA Launch, .MOI New GA Date, Rightside Registry DPML Features Update and more

Written by: 
Kirsty Holmes
3 April 2017

Registry operator ZA Central Registry NPC trading as Registry.Africa has announced the launch schedule for its new gTLD .AFRICA as follows:

Sunrise opens (TMCH and MVS)

Sunrise closes (TMCH and MVS)

Sunrise Type

Landrush Phase 1 (EAP)

Landrush Phase 2 (EAP)

Landrush Phase 3 (EAP)

Landrush Phase 4 (EAP)

(22:00 UTC)

(21:59 UTC)

End Date Sunrise
(not first-come, first-served)

(22:00 UTC)
(21:59 UTC)

(22:00 UTC)
(21:59 UTC)

(22:00 UTC)
(21:59 UTC)

(22:00 UTC)
(21:59 UTC)


General Availability (GA) Start Phase

GA Price Reduction Phase 1

GA Price Reduction Phase 2

(22:00 UTC)
(21:59 UTC)

(22:00 UTC)
(21:59 UTC)

(22:00 UTC)

During the Sunrise Phase, trade mark rights holders meeting the Eligibility Requirements below may register their domain names, provided that the term applied for is in the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH - using a Signed Mark Data (SMD) file) or the registry’s own Mark Validation System (MVS - using a Validation Token (VT)).
These both prove prior rights, but the MVS only applies to the ZACR registry namespaces, whilst the TMCH applies to all new ICANN released gTLDs and TMCH takes priority.  If you would like further information about the MVS, please contact your Client Manager.


Sunrise Eligibility Requirements
In order to register a domain name under Sunrise, an applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • Be the owner or licensee of one of the following:
    1. a nationally or regionally Registered Mark from any jurisdiction;
    2. a Mark that has been validated through a court of law or other judicial proceeding in any jurisdiction;
    3. a Mark protected by a statute or treaty in effect at the time the Mark was submitted to the TMCH or MVS for inclusion;
    4. the name of a company, trust or other juristic entity registered according to the applicant’s national law OR a business or trading name registered according to the applicant’s national law; or
    5. an unregistered or “common law” trade mark.
  • The rights to the Mark must be in full force and effect.
  • The rights to any Mark must have existed for at least 12 months before the commencement of the Sunrise Launch Phase.
  • The applicant must be able to show evidence of use of the Mark in the case of all categories set out above apart from 3.
  • The Mark must have been validated by the TMCH or the MVS, which will validate that the above eligibility criteria have been met.
  • The applicant must have been issued with an SMD in respect of that Mark from the TMCH or the MVS.

Please note that marks that would otherwise qualify as registered marks will not be accepted if they are still subject to the trade mark application process (or equivalent), within any opposition period or were the subject of successful invalidation, cancellation or rectification proceedings.
If there are multiple applications for one term, the registry will rank them in priority order, with TMCH-validated marks from an African jurisdiction coming first, followed by other TMCH marks, then MVS marks, company names and unregistered marks (with African marks/names taking priority in each category).  Applications with the same priority will go to auction.  Again, if you would like full details on ranking, please ask your Client Manager for further information.
Landrush and General Availability
Four Landrush Periods follow Sunrise; these are not first-come, first-served and competing applications will go to auction.
The registry reserves the right to publish the details of all applications made during the Launch Phases.
Under General Availability, domains may be registered by all on a first-come, first-served basis.
Landrush and Sunrise names are registered for 1 year and domain names under GA may be registered for 1 or 2 years.
IDNs may not be registered at this time.
Privacy and proxy services are allowed.
1 and 2-character labels are not currently permitted.
.MOI - New date for General Availability
Registry operator Amazon Registry Services, Inc. has announced that the General Availability date for its new gTLD .MOI will now commence on 04 April 2017 (14:00 UTC).
Rightside Registry - Additional IDN Languages for TLDs
Rightside Registry has announced that it is now accepting domain registrations in ten additional IDN language scripts across its TLD portfolio as follows:

  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Arabic
  • Cyrillic 
  • Devanagari
  • Greek
  • Hebrew
  • Latin
  • Tamil
  • Thai

In addition to domain registrations, Rightside’s DPML brand protection service will now also accept blocking labels from all new IDN languages.
Rightside Registry - Updates to DPML Features
Registry operator Rightside has announced it is to update the features for its DPML service from 17 April 2017 as follows:

  • Broader Coverage: Premium domains will now be covered across all Rightside TLDs.
  • Expanded Protection: Brands can protect up to 10 variants or misspellings of a trademark with a single DPML subscription.  Variant protection may also be used to protect a brand in multiple IDN languages.
  • Only the DPML holder will be able to override their DPML: Other trademark holders will still be able to request a domain that is blocked by a DPML, but the DPML holder will not be required to grant the override and in this event, Rightside Registry will communicate the request to the registrar that created the DPML subscription.
  • Flexible Term of Registration: Trademarks can be protected for any period between one and ten years (you are not locked into a one-block term).

This will apply to both existing and new DPML registrations.

Furthermore, some pricing updates will take place.

Please note that any DPML you register at the legacy price between now and 17 April 2017 will automatically be upgraded to the new version of the DPML, therefore you may wish to consider new registrations or multi-year renewals before this date.  Your Client Manager will be in touch with a list of your existing DPML registrations for your review and can discuss any additional variants you may wish to add.
.XN--CZR694B (. - Chinese for “trademark”) - Change of Minimum Registration Term

The DotTrademark Registry has announced that it has lowered the minimum registration term for domains under the .XN--CZR694B (.商标 - Chinese for “trademark”) TLD from 2 years to 1 year.
New domain registrations and renewals are now available for a term of from 1 to 10 years.
.CLUB - Launch of IDNs
The registry for .CLUB has announced it is to launch domains in an additional twelve IDN languages as follows:
Release Date: 06 April 2017
Release Date: 13 April 2017
.CLUB IDNs are already available in Chinese, French, Japanese, German and Spanish. 

.VEGAS - Release of 1 and 2-character Domains
The registry operator for the .VEGAS new gTLD, Dot Vegas, Inc., has announced it is to release its 1 and 2-character domains on 15 April 2017 (00:01 UTC) on a first-come, first-served basis.
Please note that a Restricted Claims Period will apply from 15 April 2017 (00:01 UTC) to 14 July 2017 (00:00 UTC) for those domains subject to TMCH (a WHOIS query indicates that such domains are “reserved”).
The Open Period (no claims) registration phase will apply from 15 July 2017 (00:01 UCT).
Please note that the following domains, plus any others required to be blocked from release under ICANN rules and policies will not be released at this time:
LV.VEGAS                  LA.VEGAS                  ES.VEGAS                 GO.VEGAS
21.VEGAS                  EL.VEGAS                  VA.VEGAS                 NV.VEGAS
MY.VEGAS                 MI.VEGAS                  NO.VEGAS                 AU.VEGAS
EC.VEGAS                 EP.VEGAS                 EU.VEGAS                 UN.VEGAS
.GLOBAL - Release of Registry Reserved Domains
The registry operator for the new gTLD .GLOBAL, Dot Global Domain Registry Limited, has announced it is to release a number of Premium Names that were previously reserved by the registry from 1 May 2017 at 15:00 UTC.

In accordance with ICANN’s Rights Protection Mechanism (RPM) requirements, around 200 of these labels will need to go through a Claims Service, therefore these labels will be available for registration in a Restricted Claims Period (RCP) for 90 days from 1 May 2017 (15:00 UTC) until 30 July 2017 (15:00 UTC) on a first-come, first-served basis.
.GLOBAL Premium names renew at normal prices.

All domain lists are available via the .GLOBAL website at:
Should you wish to place an order, or for further information, please contact your Client Manager or