Last-minute rush to reserve online real estate

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Time is running out for Australian businesses to secure key new domain names before they are made available to the public.
The Sydney and Melbourne domains are two of approximately 1,400 new top level domains that have been approved and are at various stages of becoming available to the general public. Australian businesses have until tomorrow to register their .sydney and .melbourne domain names.
Trent Taylor, partner at Holding Redlich, said that businesses that do not register their domain names before the cut off risk attracting domain name squatters and could result in a compromised online image.
“For current website operators there is a risk that domain names will be registered by others using the new top-level domains.  Such new domains may be identical or confusingly similar to current registered domains.  This may affect web traffic or sales.  It may also lead to confusion for current customers and consumers,” he said.
Businesses will need to register the new domains to protect their brand and avoid potential domain name squatters.  Taylor said that registering multiple domain names is the most efficient way to protect a brand’s online image.  He advised that brands with a well-known name should also register domains that account for spelling variations.
“It may be costly to protect against all copycat websites.  Securing key domains at the outset may be less risky or costly than having to take action against copycats or other traders who secure such websites using other top-level domains,” he said.