It Can “Pay” To Protect Your IP

Recently, I had the pleasure of brokering the sale of Pay.com.au for an Australian record price of $168,000 (for a 3 Letter domain). I genuinely believe this was a bargain for the buyers.

The buyers are very savvy operators, and unlike many small businesses, were aware of the possibility of direct registration being introduced next year. i.e. Pay.au becoming available. They asked my advice as to what they could do to improve their chances of acquiring this extension.

After I did my research, I saw that there was a long standing registrant of pay.net.au, and an individual who had registered pay.id.au. Fortunately – and perhaps surprisingly, there were no other extensions registered. Tongue in cheek somewhat, I would have thought that the ATO would have registered Pay.gov.au!

Strategy

Even though the buyers would have been happy with just the com.au (as you can see by the purchase price), they instructed me to try and acquire the net.au (which I did quickly in a win / win transaction). By doing this, they would increase the possibility of being able to get Pay.au (subject to any rights the registrant of Pay.id.au may have).

Happy Ending

As it turned out, the registrant of the id.au domain had acquired this after the cut-off date of 4th February 2018 (see screenshot below), and as my clients were the only other registrant possibly in the mix, then this has left them in the box seat (subject of course to the whims of auDA).

Suggestion

If you want to protect your Intellectual Property which includes online brand and identity (domain name), then make it a priority to find out who else may have a possible claim if and when auDA introduces direct registration. And if there are not too many competing extensions, then try (within reason) to increase your odds of acquisition!

Ned O’Meara – 13th September 2019


Disclaimer

With auDA’s currently proposed implementation scheme, it is not going to be possible for many com.au holders to do what the buyers of Pay.com.au did. Don’t worry if that is the case! To most businesses, com.au is king in Australia, and always will be – stats bear that out. As at August 2019, there were approximately 3.2 million .au registrations across all extensions, of which com.au has around 2.85 million (about 89%).

14 thoughts on “It Can “Pay” To Protect Your IP

  • Avatar
    September 13, 2019 at 8:02 am
    Permalink

    Yes but your client will not launch with Pay.au
    It will be Pay.com.au

    RealEstate.com.au is not changing to RealEstate.au
    CarSales.com.au is not changing to CarSales.au
    Google.com.au is not changing to Google.au (Google.uk and Google.nz do not even resolve)

    “.au” will not be taken up by savvy or established business owners (only registered defensively, if at all, and sit idle), and will only be taken up by the same breed of ill-advised small business owners who fell for .sydney and .melbourne and who clearly don’t know anything about what gives an extension value (entrenched, reinforced use + widespread recognition)

    .sydney and .melbourne are on the wane and only 7000 to 8000 names registered (each).

    https://ntldstats.com/tld/sydney
    https://ntldstats.com/tld/melbourne

    People do not even recognize them as being URLs, which is why most business owners have to display “www.” at the front on their signage (and look stupid)

    “.au” will have similar difficulties and the added fun of leaking as much as 50% of type-in-traffic to .com.au not to mention having trouble ranking in Google.

    Just thinking now about all those emails “.au” registrants will lose to .com.au domain owners… Privacy risk much? Security risk much?

    So worth it though, because it’s good to look like a late-to-market tool who couldn’t afford or acquire the .com.au or .net.au isn’t it…

    Like
    12 people like this.
    • Neddy
      September 13, 2019 at 8:08 am
      Permalink

      I knew you’d be first commentator off the block!

      Like
      2 people like this.
  • Avatar
    September 13, 2019 at 11:06 am
    Permalink

    Ned where do you get your information regarding creation dates as I didn’t think this was publicly available unless you made a complaint.

    Like
    3 people like this.
    • Neddy
      September 14, 2019 at 7:16 am
      Permalink

      The URL is not for public consumption yet. Not sure why – surely there is nothing to hide?

      But if you send me an email at ned @ domainer etc, I will let you know where to look.

      Like
      Anonymous likes this.
  • Scott.L
    September 13, 2019 at 1:22 pm
    Permalink

    Pay is a good example when there is only one other competing extension willing to “sell” the actual domain name, but where there are 2 or more registrants (I.e. sport), it is going to get expensive.

    The way I see it, the majority of companies cannot buy or retain competing extensions like, .org, .asn, gov.au or .id unless they find a way to be eligible to hold those domains (almost impossible or lot of mucking around)

    Therefore, why not pay auDA $10 per year to lock out your competitor than payout multiple parties just to acquire the “application rights” for only one domain name.

    Like
    2 people like this.
    • Avatar
      September 14, 2019 at 5:05 am
      Permalink

      Not going to be expensive at all, for intelligent registrants who think it through and who have learned from every other new extension released since the late 1990s:

      .info, .biz
      .us
      .asia
      .tel
      .co.nl
      .uk
      .nz
      .guru, .online .marketing and the rest

      All have failed in my opinion.

      The immutable reason is poor timing, this is not 1994.

      Established extensions have too many benefits and win on cost/benefit analysis every time.

      New extensions offer the benefit of name ‘availability’ but this benefit is ALWAYS outweighed by the cost of looking like a late-to-market tool who missed the boat (on .com or .net in the US, or on .com.au or .net.au in Australia) or lacks the means to acquire their name of choice.

      So there will be no great impost on Australian business.

      First of all, less than 5% of names actually have a rival (ie. same name, two extensions).

      All those who have their extension of choice, be it .com.au or .org.au for example will see no need to migrate to a completely new extension “.au” at the cost of rebranding, losing SEO, losing meaning, losing brand positioning etc.

      So that’s 90-95% of all registrants, who will not take up “.au”. 15-20% of these will register “.au” defensively for 1-2 years (and they will sit idle) but that’s it.

      As for the remaining 5% that might be contested, more than 50% of these will be won outright with no contest. No one wants to pay for the right to contest a dud extension without any proven history and that looks sure to fail.

      So it’s really perhaps 2.5% of names that might end up contested. But after the first 2 years have passed at least half of those contests will be over as people realise that .au is not going anywhere and offers no real benefits to Australian business and actual internet users. (Unless you are a spammer and/or Facebook mum).

      There is empirical evidence to support the above.

      In the UK, the rights to “.uk” went to .co.uk holders and it seems they have zero interest in the extension. Tens of thousands of “.uk” names that Nominet set aside for .co.uk holders for free for the first 5 years have now been dumped (rather than paying for even 1 year of renewal) by those registrants.

      Like
      7 people like this.
      • Scott.L
        September 14, 2019 at 10:15 am
        Permalink

        I absolutely agree its not going to be expensive; because Business Owners who are not “eligible” to buy and hold competing .au domain name extensions will eventually draw this very logical conclusion;

        “Why payout $1000’s of bucks to my competitors just to acquire “application rights” for only One Exact Match Domain, when I can simply pay auDA $10 every year and lock out my competitor from getting the new .au extension.”

        I’ll guarantee, auDA is banking on that conclusion.

        auDA want’s that fee more than you want that new .au – auDA knows, NO-ONE in their right mind is going to pay 3 – 8 registrants for “Application Rights” , especially for a domain name in a highly speculative and unproven namespace, and for those stupid enough to do so – they didn’t eliminate their competitors by acquiring these “application Rights” , and more stupidly, they paid their competitors extra cash which can be used to improve their SEO or Website!

        Like
        Anonymous likes this.
        • Avatar
          September 14, 2019 at 12:38 pm
          Permalink

          Few will even pay the $10

          I will not be getting or contesting “.au” for most of my names

          Much better to let some fool get it, build a business around it and then beg you for the .com.au when he finds out how much traffic and how many emails he is losing to it

          Thanks auDA for increasing the value of my .com.au and .net.au names (this is what has happened with .com)

          PS. Funny that auDA would advertise the new “.au” using not only a .com.au name but a generic .com.au name:

          http://www.shorternames.com.au

          Like
          7 people like this.
          • Scott.L
            September 14, 2019 at 4:24 pm
            Permalink

            Regardless how informed a few might be, auDA will flog this application fee for all its worth to the uninformed millions. Perhaps, after a year or more registrants will wake up and abandon it, but not after auDA raked in millions on the sly.

            Like
            2 people like this.
            • Avatar
              September 14, 2019 at 6:35 pm
              Permalink

              Reality check:

              2.8 million+ .com.au names

              Fewer than 280,000 .net.au names

              This disparity proves that people just aren’t interested in an alternative to .com.au

              auDA don’t do any peddling, it’s the registrars who do the peddling

              Except they are 15 if not 25 years too late

              People actually don’t care

              Even auDA’s video featuring one bogan who likes to say ‘sanga’ has fewer than 1,500 views in more than 6 whole months

              The only people who care about “.au” are registrars and domainers.

              And both registrars and most domainers are wrong in their beliefs, which makes the whole thing hilarious.

              Registrars actually believe they will make more money out of this. Reality is, any gain in the number of names registered will be marginal.

              All they will do is draw attention to the name space and business owners will reconsider who they keep their names with.

              Melbourne IT, which charges $77.99 per year for .com.au and .net.au registrations, has the most to lose -being one of the most expensive registrars.

              Be careful what you wish for, Melbourne IT.

              Like
              7 people like this.
              • Scott.L
                September 15, 2019 at 11:48 am
                Permalink

                Don’t get me wrong, I’m loven your point of view – But, unlike net.au the .au offers an unrestricted namespace for ALL parties, and I think that makes it attractive to a greater range of uninformed participants.

                The Application Fee or Fear-Of-Loss-Tax

                Just based on conflicted names alone; approx. 64,000 conflicted names, average of THREE conflicted parties paying a base price of $10 per person, auDA rakes in = $1,920,000.00 per-year

                Assuming HALF (32k) of those conflicted names were swindled into paying the application fee, then auDA pick-pocketed = $920,000.00 per-year

                In the first year, I think a lot of people are gonna get suckered into pay auDA This “Fear-of-Loss-Tax” because it is linked to a laborious conflicted names process –

                No-One has the time to contact multiple parties over One domain, No-One is going to negotiate terms or spend One Dollar on getting “Application Rights” – people would rather defend their brand and pay $10 to auDA (until in time, its obvious the namespace is worthless junk.)

                Like
                Anonymous likes this.
  • Avatar
    September 16, 2019 at 12:21 pm
    Permalink

    Hi Ned, great post! Peter beat me to it, I was also wondering how to find out about the creation date of an Australian domain name?

    Thanks, J

  • Avatar
    September 16, 2019 at 7:07 pm
    Permalink

    Forget about this extension, unlikely to happen and will be a huge flop if it does. Only a small number will waste money chasing garbage like .net.au.

    Hint: in an auction situation (which Auda would implement if .au ever happens), the people on .net.au won’t bid high, no money and little interest in domains……fish and chip shop owners.

    Like
    Anonymous likes this.
    • Avatar
      September 19, 2019 at 12:23 pm
      Permalink

      lol running a fish and chip shop is infinitely more productive then trashing .com.au and .net.au on forums Mr Snoopy.

      .net.au is not garbage. It’s the 2nd best local extension and at a different price point to .com.au

      Not every business can afford to spend $30,000-$100,000+ on a generic name that matches their brand and .net.au is an alternative extension with long history (20+ years) that is familiar to and trusted by internet users in Australia.

      PS. I’ve sold $35,000 to $40,000 in .net.au names (fewer than 15) that cost me less than $2,500 to acquire and hold.

      What do you get for your time on these forums?

      Like
      3 people like this.

Comments are closed.