On September 7, 2011, the Sunrise period for the new .XXX TLD will open with two concurrent rounds. Sunrise A will allow members of the adult industry with verifiable trademarks and domain names in other gTLDs to reserve their names in .XXX, while Sunrise B will give trademark and intellectual property rights holders from outside the adult industry the chance to block their marks from being registered as .XXX domains. So, for example, a brand like Disney will be able to ensure that no one can ever register Disney.XXX (and thereby ensure that my childhood memories remain undefiled).
This week, Easyspace, one of the largest web hosting companies in the UK, reported that hundreds of businesses have rushed to pre-register their trademarks with the company before the Sunrise period opens. According to Easyspace, only about 20 percent of those have been adult companies.
The .XXX policy of allowing trademark owners to completely block a domain name is somewhat revolutionary. These domains will resolve to a generic informational page, meaning trademark owners will not have to face the challenge of what kind of content to point their .XXX domains to. After all, is there really any “right” way to use, say, Hormel.XXX?
It is encouraging to see trademark owners taking advantage of this resource and taking the proper steps to safeguard their brands and marks in this new space.
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