Wednesday, 18 September 2013

New Domain Open for Business (and TM owner headaches)

africa siloutte Related to yesterday’s post on Tunisia domain names, the website TechBaron has report that the domain .africa.com is now available.  Many global company trademarks have already been acquired with the .africa.com domain.  For example the article lists starbucks.africa.com and twitter.africa.com.  It is not clear whether these domains were purchased by the respective companies or by domain squatters.  starbucks.africa.com resulted in nothing but a blank page and twitter.africa.com brought up a page of search results that included the twitter handle for africa.com.  miele.africa.com does appear to lead to an actual, official webpage, redirecting to the appliance maker’s international website.

Being a general rather than country domain, access to africa.com is rather easy and the costs are said to be lower than many country domains.  The article highlights another benefit, “owners of .africa.com domains purchase a domain that associates them with all 54 countries on the African continent.”  Is africa.com filling a need or simply giving global trademark owners another headache?  This Little Leo suspects that africa.com may be useful to international companies who limit their business to Africa but not much beyond that.

What do others think?  Will global trademark owners find themselves purchasing yet another domain to redirect to their main site?  Will they ignore this domain?  How tempting is africa.com as a domain for squatters?

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