July 20, 2011

Launch of .XXX Domain Names – Blocking Registration of Trademarks as Domains

Summary:

This September, the new .XXX registry will begin accepting registrations and protection against registrations, that is, requests to block registration of non-adult industry trademarks as domains (example: blocking registration of HDP.xxx). As with most extension launches, applications will be accepted in stages called sunrises, with priority depending on the applicants’ trademark rights or rights in related extensions. Under Sunrise B provisions, non-adult industry brand owners can pro-actively prevent registration of their trademarks as .XXX domain names by third parties. These “blocking” applications must be filed between September 7, 2011 and October 28, 2011. Contact your Harness Dickey attorney for assistance.

Launch Time Line

Beginning on September 7, 2011, applications for the .XXX extension will be accepted as follows:

September 7 – October 28, 2011

  • SunriseA – Members of the adult industry with either verifiable trademark rights or owners of exact matching domains in other top-level extensions (“grandfathering”)
  • SunriseB – Non-adult industry brand owners with verifiable trademark rights can block their domains in .XXX

November 8 – November 25, 2011

Landrush – Members of the adult industry without qualifications

December 6, 2011 (unlimited)

  • General Availability – Members of the adult industry get regular, resolving domains (e.g., domain will point to a website) on a first come, first served basis.  Non-members of the adult industry get “Non-Resolving” domains (e.g., domain will not point to a website)

 

SunriseB Details

Sunrise B is available to owners of a trademark registration in any country, with a registration date prior to September 1, 2011. The trademark must match the requested domain name exactly, and be between 3 and 63 characters in length.

The 30-day Sunrise B period is not first come, first served. All Sunrise B applications submitted during this 52-day period will be treated as submitted at the same time.

A “blocking” registration obtained under Sunrise B is for a minimum 10-year term. Depending on the registrar, costs are expected to be a few hundred dollars (US) for the initial 10-year term.

If bothSunriseA and Sunrise B applicants submit applications for the same domain name, priority will be given to theSunriseA applicant to register the domain name. Both parties will be notified.

Recommendation

Non-adult industry brand owners who wish to block their registered trademarks should submit an application during Sunrise B, beginning on September 7, 2011 and ending on October 28, 2011. This is especially important for owners of trademarks that comprise words with adult connotations, or trademarks that have been the target of abusive registrations or parodies in the past. Unregistered trademarks cannot be blocked.

Harness Dickey maintains a relationship with a reputable registrar who represents brand holders only, and can assist with preparing a Sunrise B application. Contact your Harness Dickey attorney with questions.

Further information is available from the .XXX registry at http://icmregistry.com/