New top level domain namePosted on
New .xxx Adult Entertainment Domain Name
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has recently approved the formation of a .xxx top level domain name, which is intended for use by members of the adult entertainment industry. This new domain name could affect you and your brands.
- Do you need to take steps to prevent your brand being used in a .xxx domain name for an adult entertainment website? There is a risk that a .xxx domain name may be registered which incorporates your company’s trade marks and which will be used in the adult entertainment industry. If you do not want to expose your company to such a risk, you need to take action now to try and ensure that such a registration of a .xxx domain name is blocked.
- Do you want to register your brand as a .xxx domain name for use in the adult entertainment industry? If a .xxx domain name is of interest, you need to take steps to register your brand as a .xxx domain.
As of 7 September 2011, applications will be accepted for the registration or blocking of a .xxx domain name through an accredited registrar. Therefore action needs to be taken soon.
There will be a number of phases for applications to be made following the launch of this new domain name.
Sunrise A period – applications for registrations of a .xxx domain name
In the sunrise period of 7 September 2011 to 28 October 2011, members of the sponsored community can apply to register a .xxx domain name.
The sponsored community consists of individuals, business, entities, and organisations that:
- have voluntarily determined that a system of self-identification would be beneficial,
- have voluntarily agreed to comply with all International Foundation for Online Responsibility (IFFOR) policies and best practices guidelines, as published from time to time on the IFFOR web site; and
- either provide online adult entertainment intended for consenting adults (“Providers”); represent Providers (“Representatives”); or provide products or services to Providers and Representatives (“Service Providers”).
Applicants must have either a registered trade mark or own and operate an existing domain name in another generic top level domain name or county code top level domain name, in connection with eligible commerce for registration in the .xxx domain.
The .xxx domain name to be registered has to be identical to the trade mark for which registration has been attained or the existing domain name registration.
In the event that a .xxx domain name is subject to competing applications by at least two Sunrise A applicants, the domain name will be auctioned among all qualified Sunrise A applicants.
All qualifying sunrise applications will be viewed as having arrived at the same time; the registry will not consider applications on a first come, first served basis.
Sunrise B period – applications to block the registration of a .xxx domain name
Running parallel to the Sunrise A period, non-members of the sponsored community can apply to block a .xxx domain name which incorporates their registered trade mark.
Filing a blocking .xxx domain name application is a straightforward process. All that is required is a valid trade mark, which has been registered as of 1 September 2011, and the payment of a one off nominal fee. The .xxx domain name to be blocked has to be identical to the trade mark for which registration has been attained.
At the close of the sunrise period, if no conflicting applications by a Sunrise A applicant have been made, the .xxx domain name will be blocked. A successful blocking application will block the registration of the .xxx domain name indefinitely. The WHOIS information regarding a blocked .xxx domain name will not contain the details of the owner of the registered trade mark but will show details of the registrar who filed the blocking application and will state that the domain is unavailable.
In the event that there are competing Sunrise A and Sunrise B applications, priority will be given to the qualified Sunrise A applicant to register the .xxx domain name. The Sunrise A applicant will receive notice of Sunrise B applicant’s interest in the domain name and therefore cannot claim any lack of notice if a subsequent dispute arises between Sunrise A and Sunrise B applicants.
In this sunrise period the registry will not consider applications on a first come, first served basis but instead all qualifying applications will be viewed as having arrived at the same time.
The landrush period will run from 8 November 2011 to 25 November 2011 for those members of the sponsored community who do not qualify for Sunrise A but want to secure a .xxx domain name.
There are no trade mark or pre-ownership right requirements during this phase of the launch.
If more than one application for a .xxx domain name is received, these will be allocated by way of a closed mini-auction, between the competing parties only, at the end of the landrush period.
General availability of the .xxx domain names begins on 6 December 2011 and at that stage .xxx domain names will be allocated on a first come, first served basis to members of the sponsored community.
It is at this stage that non-members of the sponsored community can also apply on a first come, first served basis for further blocking applications, e.g. to block registrations based on a common misspelling of their trade mark, company names, product names, or personal names.
Should you have any questions, wish to take any action to register a .xxx domain name or wish to file a blocking application, please contact your usual trade mark attorney who will be happy to assist you.