**McIntosh IP is currently not offering patent services. We now focus only on trade mark services in Australia, New Zealand and the United States**
A domain name is an internet identification label or address consisting of a string of characters separated by full stops. The most familiar domain names are website (eg. www.mcintoship.com.au) or email addresses (email@example.com). Australian website domains, such as .com.au and .net.au are administered by the government body the Australian Domain Name Administrator (auDA).
Similar to a business name, a domain name does not, of itself, provide any proprietary rights and its function is an identifier rather than as a provider of a monopoly. Also similarly to business names, domain names are generally allocated on a first-come, first-served basis with all that is required is to satisfy eligibility criteria.
The eligibility requirements for com.au domain names are the Registrant must be either a) a Registered Australian Commercial Entity (eg company, business name) or (b) the owner of registered Australian trade mark/application (including non-Australian entities) AND the domain name must be either a) an exact match, acronym or abbreviation of the registrant’s registered name/trade mark or b) otherwise closely and substantially connected to the registrant.
If there is a dispute regarding a domain name, an aggrieved party may seek to use the auDA’s dispute resolution policy (auDRP) to challenge the basis of the Registrant’s non-compliance with auDA’s policy. The purpose of the auDRP is to provide a cheaper, speedier alternative to litigation for the resolution of disputes between the registrant of a .au domain name and a party with competing rights in the domain name.
Remedies available to a successful complainant under each policy are limited to cancellation of the domain name or transfer of the domain name to the complainant. Damages are not available as a remedy.