To bring some protection from unintended exposure to pornographic websites, the international body that administers the Internet Domain Name system has approved a new domain: .xxx (dot triple-x). New to this domain will be a way to block the triple-x registration of certain domains, without actually having to acquire them, as is now the norm for other Internet domains.¬† Thus, instead of the of a trademark owner having to actually own the “trademark.xxx” domain, the owner may simply pay a one-time fee to prevent others from registering the trademark as a triple-x site.
The registrar for triple-x expects to use a “sunrise” period in early September 2011.¬† For 30 days, those having registered trademarks and wishing to register actual triple-x domains will be able to participate in the “Sunrise A” process.¬† At the same time, those wishing to block triple-x registration will participate in the “Sunrise B” process.¬† After the 30 day sunrise period, there will be a “landrush” period of 14 days for anyone to register in triple-x.¬† Thus, for adult websites with registered trademarks that now operate in other domains, they will be able to claim the same name in triple-x, and for those who never want to have their mark associated with anything in triple-x, they may block future registrations.¬† Miss the window, and you may have to resort to the standard domain name dispute process to reclaim your trademark rights.
To register for the block in Sunrise B, a trademark owner must have at least one national trademark registration for the exact word to be blocked.¬† Thus, Coca Cola may block “Coke.xxx” but not “CokePorn.xxx”. Those who want to block registrations but who don’t have a registration of the trademark may want to consider a quick foreign registration, because backlogs at the United States Trademark Office extend beyond the Sunrise B period at present.
The expected fee for blocking during Sunrise B is in the range of $200-$300, but final pricing has not been announced.
For more detailed information on how to protect your trademark, contact one of the attorneys at LW&H.¬† For information about the triple-x blocking process, you may check the site www.XXXempt.com.
— Lawrence A. Husick, Esq.