The new top level domain .xxx will soon be available for registration with the ICM Registry through accredited registrars.

The .xxx domain is relevant not only to those involved the adult entertainment industry but potentially to all brand-owners. Brand-owners who are not involved in the adult entertainment industry will want to ensure that their brands and trademarks are not registered by cyber-squatters or others in the .xxx space.

The ICM Registry has created a “Sunrise Period” of 50 days from 7 September 2011 to 28 October 2011, in which trademark owners can block registration of their brand in the .xxx domain.  Brand-owners may opt-out of .xxx by reserving names identical to their existing registered trademarks thereby preventing anyone engaged in the adult entertainment industry from registering a .xxx domain name for that particular mark. To take advantage of this a registered trademark is required.

ICM has indicated that it has already received over 900,000 inquiries from companies that want to pre-register their trademarks or block others from snapping them up.

A successful application to block a .xxx domain name will provide protection for ten years. The blocked domain will resolve to an information page stating that the domain has been reserved and preventing other parties from acquiring it.

If a brand owner doesn’t block its trademark from the .xxx registry, someone in the adult entertainment industry could register the .xxx domain, even if it includes a valuable or well-known brand.

Following launch of the .xxx domain, if your brand is registered in the .xxx domain other mechanisms will be available (such as a form of Dispute Resolution Policy) but success may not be guaranteed. Proactive participation in the Sunrise Period is the more cost-effective and time-efficient approach.

There is not much time to benefit from the Sunrise Period; contact us if you need any assistance.

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