International law firm Hogan Lovells recently published an article reporting significant changes to the registration policy of Algeria’s ccTLD.
While we were unable to locate the updated policy document, the source is beyond reproach and we felt it was pertinent to relay the relevant details in this space.
Most of the 12.000 active domains are second-level registrations (ex. domain.dz), whereas third-level extensions such as .com.dz and .net.dz are also in use. Previously, foreign trademark holders could register either at the second or third level.
It will no longer be possible for foreign trademark holders to register new .dz domains under any extension, except for a third-level extension specifically for such registrants: .tm.dz.
From the Hogan Lovells article, we know that two safeguards are in place to protect the interest of foreign trademark holders:
— Existing domains belonging to such entities will not be cancelled. It will be possible to renew them, although modifications are not allowed.
— If a foreign trademark holder registers a .tm.dz domain today, that entitles them to register the matching, second-level .dz domain.
Unfortunately, the article doesn’t nail either of these down completely. The ban on modification of existing domains could refer to contacts, nameservers or both. Also, it’s not clear if a .tm.dz registration effectively blocks the matching .dz from ever being registered, or rather if it’s a more limited protection.
We’ll work to fill in these knowledge gaps, but in the meantime would reccomend a .tm.dz registration for entities thinking about defensive registrations in Algeria. Pricing falls in the 50-100 USD range.