Dot Kiwi – Taking the Internet in a new direction…

For the first time New Zealanders have a unique way to take pride in their Kiwi-ness online.

It’s called .kiwi (Dot Kiwi) incase you didn’t get the memo, and the country’s new top level domain is available to register now, through the eagerly awaited Sunrise Period.

Revealed by Techday last week, businesses and organisations have until March 17 2014 to register their trademark as a Dot Kiwi domain name before sales to the general public begin.

“Now Kiwis can truly be Kiwis online with an internet domain designed specifically for New Zealanders and New Zealand businesses,” says Tim Johnson, CEO, Dot Kiwi.

A New Zealand company approved by ICANN to become the world’s only .kiwi registry, Johnson believes the Dot Kiwi domain will be hugely valuable for Kiwi businesses, opening the door to greater branding creativity and creating more opportunities for companies to differentiate themselves from competitors.

“We’re incredibly proud to offer New Zealanders a fresh, modern, and unique online identity that we all really call our own,” he says.

“We believe the .kiwi domain will be hugely valuable for Kiwi businesses, opening the door to greater branding creativity and creating more opportunities for companies to differentiate themselves from competitors.”

Offering Techday a quick run down of what Dot Kiwi means for Kiwi businesses, Johnson explains arguably the biggest change to the internet since it was invented…

What is the difference between a domain “reservation” and “registration”?

As the .kiwi Registry, we can hold back, or “reserve”, domains for supporters and true Kiwis who we believe will best represent our .kiwi domain. These domains will never become available for sale to the public, they will be activated, or “registered”, in their purchasers name for use in early 2014.

When will I be able to use my .kiwi domain(s)?

.kiwi Launch Community members are expected to be able to use their .kiwi domains before the masses, as early as March 2014, upon completion of the .kiwi Trademark period.

If I don’t reserve my name, when is my next opportunity to purchase?

If you own a Trademark, and have registered with the Trademark Clearinghouse a special opportunity will exist for you to apply for domain names beginning later this year. If you do not own a Trademark, the first opportunity will be in March 2014 during our Early Bird period. At this point all domains are up for grabs for the general public.

Can I reserve any domain name I want?

Yes, and no. Generally, you can reserve any domain name you want (as long as it ends in .kiwi!), but there is a very limited set of unavailable domains which are outlined below:

Restricted Domains:

There are a limited number of domains we technically cannot create, such as www.kiwi and example.kiwi, also all Country names and two-character domains (eg. “me.kiwi”) among others. If your .kiwi Launch Community application happens to include one or more of these domains, we will be unable to consider them as part of your application.

Reserved Domains:

We have reserved a limited number of domains for our own use (eg. kiwi.kiwi), as well as for our partners (kea.kiwi, etc.) which we need to hold onto. This also includes domains reserved by Kiwis who managed to beat you in the queue and chose the same .kiwi domain as you did.

It’s first-come, first-served, but if for some reason a reservation request by someone before you in line doesn’t work out, we will be sure to let you know so you have the chance to secure it then.

Blocked Domains:

We have been working with various parties to isolate domains which should be withheld on behalf of public interests. If your .kiwi Launch Community application happens to include one or more of these domains, we will be unable to consider them as part of your application.

Trademarks:

If you have a Trademark and are applying to reserve a domain matching that Trademark, fantastic, we will be happy to reserve it for you. If you are applying to reserve a domain matching a Trademark you don’t have, however, we are unlikely to reserve it for you.

This is not a hard-and-fast rule, as some Trademarks can be very generic, but we are determined to protect New Zealanders intellectual property in the .kiwi domain so will be checking all requests against IPONZ (www.iponz.govt.nz).

Premium Names:

Our most valuable generic domains, are not available as part of the .kiwi Launch Community offering. This is not to say you can’t purchase them, but they will be a little more expensive. If you happen to be the first to request a particular Premium Name, we will give you the first opportunity to acquire it.

If all three of your selections happen to be Premium Names, it will be very clear that you have excellent taste!

What will be in this Welcome Pack?

The Welcome Pack will include a certificate of ownership personalised for your .kiwi domain(s), as well as benefits such as discounts on .kiwi Premium Names, and information on how to get your logo or business name some promotion on our website.

The Welcome Pack will also contain information on how you go about activating your .kiwi domain name when the time comes, as well as other general fun facts and information.

For all registrations on Dot Kiwi, a percentage of the revenues will go directly to assist the Christchurch rebuild.

“That seems really fitting to us,” Johnson adds. “Kiwis helping Kiwis while carving out a unique identity in the world.”

For trademark holders wanting to take advantage of the Sunrise period they should visit https://dot-kiwi.com/sunrise or http://www.trademark-clearinghouse.com.

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