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LIMITED TIME OPPORTUNITY Avoid A Pornographic Association With Your Trademark
- 4/7/2011

Recently, ICANN, the agency that administers internet domain names, approved the .xxx top-level domain for use by pornographic and adult entertainment web sites.  While this development should provide an easier way to recognize (and block) such web sites, there is concern among trademark owners that their trademarks will now registered by cybersquatters with a .xxx domain suffix, e.g., www.pepsi.xxx.  In an effort to combat this, legitimate trademark owners are being provided a limited opportunity to pre-register .xxx domain names that incorporate their trademarks as a means of barring others from using the trademark in connection with an adult site.

ICANN is prepared to appoint ICM Registry as the registry operator of the .xxx TLD to distribute the domain names to various registrars for sale to the public.  ICANN has not yet signed a contract with ICM but is expected to do so shortly. 

Approximately 60 to 90 days after that, a 30 day “sunrise” period will open for pre-registration of .xxx domain names.  There will actually be three sunrise periods – Sunrise B will be the one for registering domain names that will not connect to adult web sites.  Anyone clicking one of these domain names will see only a page advising that the domain name has been reserved from use through ICM’s rights protection program. Details are posted at the ICM website  http://www.icmregistry.com/about/sunrise.php.
ICM is also providing a prereservation period called the Intellectual Property Protection Reservation Request through which domain names can be pre-reserved for future registration during the sunrise period.  See https://domains.icmregistry.com/reserve.html.

If avoiding an association with a .xxx domain name is a concern, we recommend taking advantage of the prereservation procedure.  According to the ICM Registry, more than 500,000 name reservations were received during the first week following ICANN’s approval of the .xxx TLD.