What is .xxx?

The adult entertainment industry has, and always will, account for a large amount of content on the Internet. While this is enjoyed by some, it is not suitable, or of interest, to all. As a result, Internet users are increasingly coming into contact with content that they do not wish to see. Others are finding it difficult to locate exactly what they are looking for on the world wide web, because the availability of precise and clear domain names has decreased.

The introduction of .xxx will create a clearly signposted place where adult entertainment can be accessed and allow surfers to have a clear idea of the nature of site with this domain.

Relevance to trade mark owners

.xxx is specifically reserved for members of the online adult entertainment industry ("adult sponsored community"). However, trade mark owners will be allowed to block third parties from registering .xxx domain names that match their trade marks during a sunrise period from 7 September 2011 to 28 October 2011.

As from the beginning of December this year, the registration process will enter a first-come, first-served stage. In that phase, there is a risk of so-called cyber squatters exploiting the situation by pre-emptively registering .xxx domain names containing the names of the trade marks of others.

It is highly recommended that trade mark owners take advantage of the sunrise period to block the use of their trade marks within the .xxx Top Level Domain. Once a .xxx domain is blocked it will permanently prevent another party from registering that domain and the trade mark owner will not have to renew the domain name.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.