As we previously reported, ICANN approved the .XXX extension for use by the adult entertainment industry. ICM Registry, the company operating .XXX, has established a sunrise period to enable brand owners to secure .XXX domain names before they are available for general registration. The sunrise period, which opened September 7 and runs through October 28, 2011, enables brand owners from outside the adult entertainment industry to pay a one-time fee to block the registration of strings exactly matching their existing trademarks. The names will remain blocked for at least the next 10 years, the agreed upon time that ICM Registry will be responsible for maintaining the extension. Companies that do not take advantage of this sunrise period by October 28, 2011 will not be able to block their trademarks from use on .XXX. However, if a third party does register such a domain name and uses it in a confusing manner to trade off a brand, the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) is still available to recover the domain name and the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) may be as well, depending on where the registrant and registrar are located.
TIP: You should carefully consider whether you want to secure any of your trademarks against registration by third parties in connection with the .XXX extension and act by October 28 to secure those domain names. However, the fact that .XXX domain names may only be registered by companies that provide adult entertainment online, or represent or provide services to such companies, will likely reduce the threat of cybersquatting, and as such, companies may consider only securing trademarks which might be attractive to adult entertainment companies.