The .XXX domain name space was created for the adult entertainment industry and the provision of sexually orientated online adult entertainment.

Why Are .XXX Domain Names Important To ALL Trade Mark Owners?

Unless trade mark owners are proactive and apply to block .XXX domain names featuring their registered trade marks during the Sunrise phase, cybersquatters will no doubt take advantage of the land rush phase and apply to register domain names incorporating known brands, for their own benefit. The UDRP will apply to the .XXX domain name space but reactive measures to recover domain names are often not cost effective and nor will they guarantee recovery.

Who Can Register During the Sunrise Phases?

There will be two Sunrise phases.

During Sunrise Phase A, owners of registered trade marks operating in the online adult entertainment industry can apply for domain names corresponding with their trade mark.

During Sunrise Phase B, owners of trade marks registered prior to commencement of the Sunrise Phase and which are in use outside the adult entertainment industry can apply to block domain names corresponding with their trade mark.

What Type Of Evidence Will A Brand Owner Need To Provide During Sunrise Phase B?

A copy of the trade mark registration will be sufficient. Only registered trade marks can be relied upon. A trade mark application or evidence of common law rights in a trade mark will not be sufficient. Also, the domain name must be identical to the registered trade mark.

Can A Licensee Apply During Sunrise Phase B?

Yes. A trade mark licensee can submit a form, signed by it and the registered trade mark owner, authorising the licensee to proceed with a Sunrise Phase B application.

What If There Are Competing Rights?

Multiple qualifying applications filed under Sunrise Phase B will result in the domain name being reserved in exactly the same way as if there were only a single applicant.

However, a registered trade mark owner operating in the online entertainment industry will have precedence over the owner of an identical trade mark not operating in that industry. If a domain name is subject to reservation by one Sunrise Phase B applicant, a Sunrise Phase A applicant for the same domain name will be notified of this and given the opportunity to withdraw the application.

In the event of competing Sunrise Phase A applications, then the domain name will be auctioned amongst qualified applicants.

How Much Will It Cost To Lodge A Sunrise Phase A Application?

The current estimate is US$200-$300, although some domain name resellers are proposing to charge up to US$650.

How Long Will A Domain Name Be Reserved?

Ten years, although this could change.

Next Steps

Brand owners should compile a list of their principal brands, products and/or important individual corporate member names that they may wish to protect in preparation for the September launch.