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How to Protect Your Brand from Unwanted Exploitation in .XXX

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United Kingdom

.XXX is the new top level domain (“TLD”) for the adult entertainment industry. The launch process starts in September 2011 and includes various procedures aimed at protecting brand owners outside the adult entertainment industry from cybersquatting within .XXX. Some of these are available for a limited time, so it is important that you are aware of these now and take action, if appropriate.

Sunrise B - Open from 7 September until 28 October 2011

As with the launch of most new TLDs, there is a sunrise period, known as “Sunrise A”, during which rightsholders within the adult entertainment industry will be able to secure domain names in .XXX before general availability. However for .XXX there is also a “Sunrise B”. Sunrise B allows rightsholders outside the adult entertainment industry to register “reserved” .XXX names to prevent their brand names being exploited by cybersquatters in the .XXX TLD. If registered, reserved names will resolve to a standard informational page indicating the status of the name as reserved, and no information about the Sunrise B applicant will be publically available.

Sunrise B is available to those with valid trade marks registered prior to 1 September 2011. Rightsholders can apply, for a one-off fee, for reserved domain names that match the entire text of a word trade mark, or the entire textual component of a logo mark. Spaces may be removed entirely or replaced with a hyphen (although to reserve mybrand.xxx and my-brand.xxx you would need to make two separate applications). You would not, however, be able to reserve my-brand-porn.xxx under Sunrise B.

Reservation Requests in General Availability - Starts on 6 December 2011

For those without registered rights, you can apply, on a first-come-first-served basis, for personal names or other words in which you have a personal interest, to be registered as reserved names in the .XXX TLD. Unlike Sunrise B applications, once registered these domain names will need to be renewed in the normal way.

Disputes over .XXX Domain Names - Post-Launch

Once the TLD is up and running, the usual dispute resolution procedures will apply, including the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), which applies to other generic TLDs such as .com and .net. Under the UDRP domain names that are identical or confusingly similar to your brand can be recovered where those domain names were registered and are being used in bad faith.  Therefore under the UDRP you might still be able to recover my-brand-porn.xxx.

The .XXX registry is also due to implement a Rapid Evaluation Service (RES) - full details have not yet been released but this will be a quick take-down procedure to deal with the most flagrant abuses.

Although post-launch dispute resolution procedures exist, if you do not want your brand to be available to others in .XXX then the pre-emptive options of Sunrise B and Reservation Requests in General Availability are worth careful consideration.