In this client alert, we will provide information about the new .XXX domain name tentatively scheduled to launch September 7, 2011, as well as information regarding the possibility of blocking certain domain names to prevent future use.
ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, officially approved the new .XXX Top Level Domain (“TLD”) extension in March of this year. This TLD is intended to be used for adult-related content, such as pornographic materials.
These ____.xxx domain names will become available through two sunrise periods (Sunrise A and Sunrise B), currently scheduled to run concurrently starting September 7, 2011.
- Sunrise A will allow companies or individuals who hold an adult content-related domain (a ccTLD—country code Top Level Domain or a gTLD—generic Top Level Domain) to reserve the .xxx version of their domain name. These adult entertainment rights owners will take priority over all.
- Sunrise B will allow rights owners from outside the adult entertainment industry, e.g., trademark owners offering non adult entertainment-related goods and services, to reserve and block certain domain names. These names will resolve to a blank page and no information regarding the entity who requested the block will be available. According to ICANN, there will be a one-time fee for Sunrise B applicants that will permanently block the name with no need for renewal.
- For Sunrise A and B, a valid and subsisting national trademark or service mark is required. Further, these trademarks must have been issued prior to the application, i.e., prior to September 7, 2011.
- For Sunrise B, the name identified in the blocking application must match the trademark or service mark.
- For Sunrise A, the domain name being transferred to the .xxx TLD must have been registered prior to February 2010 and must be an IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) TLD registered at the first applicable level available.
Consideration should be given to registering your company’s primary trademarks in the new .xxx domain as a defense measure against having your brands associated with explicit content.
The foregoing has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of the firm. It is not meant to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter and should not be acted upon without professional counsel. If you have any questions or require any further information regarding these or other related matters, please contact your regular Nixon Peabody LLP representative. This material may be considered advertising under certain rules of professional conduct.