There will be cases where some of our Clients apply for a domain name that other eligible parties have also applied for.  This is referred to as a contested name.  It is important to understand what priority category your application is in, as both category 1 and 2 work slightly differently.

AuDA has provided information on contested domain names and the priority allocation process and we have summarised it here.

Uncontested names

In most cases, there will only be one registrant eligible to apply for a reserved .au direct name as they will be the only holder of its match in another .au namespace. This is referred to as an uncontested name.

In these cases, the applicant will be allocated the domain name shortly after applying for Priority Status.

For example:

  • David Meeker holds, and there are no other licenses for ‘David Meeker’ in any other .au namespace.
  • David applies to register and is allocated the name shortly after applying.

Even if your matching .au name is uncontested, you must apply for Priority Status if you wish to secure the .au direct name, otherwise it will become publicly available on a first-come, first-served basis from 20 September 2022.

Contested names

In some cases, there will be more than one registrant eligible for a reserved .au direct name, as different registrants can hold the  same name in different namespaces. This is referred to as a contested name.

Determine your Priority category

The creation date of the domain name on which the application is based determines the priority category:

  • Priority Category 1: Names created on or before the cut-off date of 4 February 2018
  • Priority Category 2: Names created after the cut-off date of 4 February 2018

You can see an existing name’s priority category with the Priority Status Tool.

Determine the other Registrants’ Priority Category

Where another party has the same name in a different au domain space, for example, you might hold and another party holds, you need to check what priority category they are in.  You can check their status by also adding their domain name in the Priority Status tool.

Where there are multiple applications for a contested name, the following principles apply:

  • Category 1 applicants have priority over Category 2 applicants;
  • Where there are multiple Category 1 applications, the name is allocated on agreement/negotiation between the Category 1 applicants;
  • Where there are only Category 2 applicants, the name is allocated to the applicant with the earliest creation date.

Negotiation between multiple category 1 applicants

Where there are multiple Category 1 applications, those registrants will need to negotiate between themselves to determine who will be allocated the .au  direct domain name they have applied for.

Applicants will be able to contact each other via the publicly available Registrant contact information found in WHOIS.

Where an agreement is reached:

  • The agreed applicant(s) will withdraw their applications;
  • The name is allocated to the registrant with the only active Priority Status application remaining for an initial one-year licence term.

Where no agreement is reached:

  • The .au direct domain name remains subject to a Priority Hold;
  • The name remains on Priority Hold until there is only one active application remaining;

Applicants will need to renew their applications on a yearly basis.

.au Contested Domain Managed Process

Brandsec is managing communication with other parties where a Priority Group One contest exists – this includes all communication, negotiation, agreement management, and settlement.  It is important to keep your application up to date, otherwise, your application will expire and the other party will be able to register the domain name.  Applications need to be renewed one year after the original application was submitted.

About brandsec

brandsec is a corporate domain name management and brand protection company that looks after many of Australia, New Zealand and Asia’s top publicly listed brands. We provide monitoring and enforcement services, DNS, SSL Management, domain name brokerage and dispute management and brand security consultation services.




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