• Protecting Your Brands from .XXX Domains
  • September 21, 2011 | Authors: Tara A. Branscom; Diane J. Mason; Brian L. Petrequin
  • Law Firms: LeClairRyan - Roanoke Office ; LeClairRyan - San Francisco Office ; LeClairRyan - Newark Office
  • Shortly, businesses will be able obtain the .XXX version of their domain names. Trademark owners outside of the adult entertainment industry should consider taking steps to protect their brands.

    There will be a one time sunrise period between September 7, 2011 and October 28, 2011, during which time owners of registered trademarks can apply to block registration of their registered marks as .XXX domain names. At the close of the period, if no conflicting applications by applicants from within the adult sponsored community have been made, these marks will be blocked from registration as a .XXX domain name.

    Domains that are placed on the blocked list will automatically resolve to a landing page informing visitors that the name was blocked from registration. The registrar filing fees for blocking a mark from registration as a .XXX domain name are expected to be in the range of $200 to $300 per trademark. It appears that the filing fee will be a one time fee and the block permanent, subject to ICANN not changing the contractual terms of its agreement with ICM Registry, which is responsible for the .XXX top level domain.

    For those submissions that do not qualify for or take advantage of the sunrise period, all is not lost. In addition to the dispute resolution mechanisms that will be put into place, come December when the general availability period opens, mark owners who are not members of the adult sponsored community can apply for non-resolving .XXX domain names on a first come, first served basis. Domain names obtained during the general availability period will be subject to annual renewal and therefore where possible an application during the short upcoming sunrise period is recommended.