Thursday, 19 March 2009

Nigeria: domain name development

Afro-IP has learnt via several sources that the Nigeria Internet Registration Association has announced a new policy for the registration of ".ng" domain names. The new policy amends the eligibility criteria for domain names and introduces a procedure whereby accredited registrars will act as intermediaries between NIRA and applicants.

Presently, trademark owners seeking to register a '.ng' domain name are required to show that have a presence in Nigeria and demonstrate that they intend to use the domain name on a regular basis. Under the new policy it will not be necessary for a brand owner to have a presence in Nigeria provided that they have a registered trade mark which is identical to the domain name. This development is expected to reduce incidences of cybersquatting (presumably by local Nigerians) and should increase filings in the region by encouraging non local brand owners to file trade marks to obtain domain names. The new policy is scheduled to take effect in the near future and Afro-IP looks forward to hearing from anyone with further information.

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