The launch of the new top level domain .XXX, which was created earlier this year, is on its way. .XXX domain names will be available for registration with the ICM Registry through accredited registrars from 28 October 2011.

The domain was created by the group that manages the Internet's top-level domains -- the .com or .org that we all type at the end of e-mail messages and web addresses - the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The .XXX Registry is providing an opportunity for trade mark owners (not involved in the adult entertainment industry) to apply to opt-out of .XXX and protect their brands online The period for applications is already underway and closes on 28 October 2011.

Trade mark owners can choose to “opt out” of.XXX by reserving names identical to their existing registered trade marks - effectively barring anyone else registering a .XXX domain name for their brand. A successful application to block a .XXX domain name registration will eliminate the domain from the .XXX registry for at least ten years.

The .XXX domain has prompted criticism from owners of adult entertainment sites, who hold that a .XXX domain for adult entertainment may be segregated by other websites who will avoid linking to them, and will lead to censorship in some countries.

ICM said it had received 900,000 expressions of interest for .XXX domain names.