New Nigerian domain names likely to lead to growth
On 7 April 2013, the Nigerian Internet Registration Association (NIRA), announced the launch of the .ng domain name extension, making it possible to register Second Level Domains (SLDs) in Nigeria.
Vicky Stilwell, director in ENS's Intellectual Property department at ENS (Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs), explains that as a result of this launch, instead of trademark.com.ng it is now also possible to register trademark.ng.
"We believe the .ng domain will become more popular that the .com.ng extension in the near future," she says.
Stilwell advises registrants of a .com.ng domain name, to urgently register the matching .ng domain name.
"Furthermore, anyone who is registered, or has applied to register trademarks in Nigeria, or who is considering doing business in Nigeria, should obtain .ng registrations for the trademarks that are, or will be, used in that country," says Stilwell.
According to Stilwell, NIRA has classified a number of domain names as premium value domain names, which will only be available via auction. "These are likely to include descriptive domain names such as insurance.ng, although the list of premium domain names has not yet been published. However the auction procedure also still needs to be finalised and we await clarity on this."
She advises companies considering doing business in Nigeria, should also register the trademarks that they will be using, in that country, as it is very common for third parties to register popular or valuable trademarks belonging to other parties, and it is both challenging and costly to enforce trade mark rights in Nigeria.