October 18, 2011

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Are You Prepared for the Launch of the New .XXX Domain Names?

The .XXX domain name extension has been approved for use with adult entertainment industry websites. Companies not in the adult entertainment industry may want to prevent their brands from becoming .XXX domain names. For qualifying registered trademark owners, there is a short time frame, known as a "sunrise period", from September 7, 2011 to October 28, 2011 during which a trademark owner can apply to block their registered trademark from being registered as a .XXX domain name.

Below are key points to keep in mind:

  • To qualify for a blocking registration during the sunrise period, the applicant must have a national or regional international registered trademark that registered before September 1, 2011. The following types of trademarks cannot be used: common law (unregistered) trademarks, state registrations, U.S. Supplemental registrations, or any non-active registrations, such as cancelled or expired registrations.
  • The trademark to be blocked must correspond exactly to the registered trademark.
  • An approved blocking registration that is submitted during the sunrise period will be in effect for 10 years.
  • There is a one-time, non-refundable fee charged by the approved registrars to request a blocking registration. For example, GoDaddy.com is currently charging $199.99 during the sunrise period for the block, which, if approved, remains in effect for 10 years.
  • At the end of the sunrise period, if no adult entertainment industry company with rights in the same trademark has filed an application to register the trademark as a .XXX domain name, then the trademark will be blocked from .XXX registration.
  • When a trademark has been blocked from a .XXX registration, the domain name will resolve to a standard information page indicating that the domain name has been reserved or is not available.
  • Starting on December 6, 2011, anyone can register a .XXX domain name on a first-come, first-served basis. However, only those registrants who are members of the adult entertainment industry may have .XXX domain names that resolve to a website. All other .XXX registrations will be non-resolving domain names (meaning the domain name will only resolve to an informational page). Thus, starting on December 6, 2011, individuals or companies who are not members of the adult entertainment industry can apply to block their company names, unregistered marks, domain names or other terms from being registered as a .XXX domain name--if it has not already been registered or blocked by another party.

If you do not want your registered trademark to be used for a .XXX website, we recommend that you request a blocking registration for your qualified registered trademark(s) during the sunrise period. Additional information regarding the .XXX domain name can be found at the registry site at www.icmregistry.com.

Ryley Carlock & Applewhite's trademark attorneys are available to answer questions regarding the blocking process related to .XXX domain names and to assist you in submitting a blocking registration. Please feel free to contact us.


Jessica A. Benford, 602-440-4866, jbenford@rcalaw.com

 

 

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