The long awaited and hotly debated .xxx top-level domain (TLD)
was approved recently and will soon become available to members of
the adult entertainment industry.
This undoubtedly creates new opportunities for the industry in
question but it also raises concerns for brand owners in other
sectors, who may not want their trade marks to be used as part of a
.xxx domain name.
The ICM Registry, which will operate the .xxx domain name
registry, has announced two "Sunrise" periods as well as
a "Landrush" phase, with the Sunrise periods running
concurrently and tentatively scheduled to begin in September
Sunrise A caters only for applicants operating within the adult
entertainment (AE) industry and who operate an existing domain
name, while Sunrise B is open to applicants outside that industry
and who own a trade mark registration (of national effect), but who
wish to opt out of the .xxx TLD. The trade mark/s must have been
registered before the date on which the applicant applies to opt
The "Landrush" phase will commence after the Sunrise
periods and is open to all members of AE industry, irrespective of
whether or not they already own a trade mark registration or domain
name. Subsequently, all remaining .xxx domain names will be
available on a first-come first-served basis, provided that the
successful applicant is a verified member of the AE industry.
This development has important implications for members of the
AE industry as well as existing and prospective trade mark owners
– and as always, intellectual property should be suitably
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.
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