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ICANN Approves New Dot Triple-X Domain

post Wednesday October 12, 2011

Tags: domain name; trademark;



On March 18, 2011 the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) approved the new.XXX web domain name. The dot triple-X will give the adults-only websites an option to use as the ending address. The domain is sponsored by the International Foundation for Online Responsibility (IFFOR) and went into operation on April 15, 2011. With the approval, the dot triple-X can be assigned to companies now. However, the use of an active.XXX domain is limited to members of the “Sponsored Community” of adult-oriented content and service provider.

On the website of ICM Registry, the Board of Directors of the International Foundation for Online Responsibility (IFFOR) defines a “sponsored-community” under its policies for the .xxx domain as, “individuals, business, entities, and organizations that . . . provide online, sexually oriented adult entertainment (“Online Adult Entertainment”) intended for consenting adults or for other community members.”

With the new domain ending, the community members can register a domain restricts this new ending at the first to existing trademark and website owners, which means the name of some companies can be registered with .XXX address ending. In order to prevent this, trademark owners of other industries should utilize the so called “Sunrise Period”. The sunrise period B starts on Sept 7th to October 28, 2011. During this period, people, organizations that are not in the adult entertainment industry who hold trademark registrations can have their trademarks blocked from the .XXX TLD.

At the same period, the member of the adult “Sponsored-Community” can apply for the .XXX domain with their trademark or other protected name. Since both adult and non-adult can register for their trademarks, conflicts of interests are highly possible. According to ICM, any conflicts between sponsored and non-sponsored applicants will be decided in favor of the sponsored applicants.

After the sunrise period, Landrush period will start on Nov. 8th and end on Nov. 25th. During this period, all other members of the adult Sponsored-Community who do not qualify under the sunrise period will have a chance to register a .XXX name.

After the landrush period, starting on Dec. 6, applications are available to the public and are determined on a first-come first-served basis.

Around 1,500 .xxx domains have been allocated to 35 porn companies, and many will go public before December 6th this year. According to Dot Triple X Domain goes live in December, a preregistration period found nearly 900,000 “expressions of interest” for 650,000 names.

Trademark owners or protected name owners that are not able to protect their names during the sunrise period or choose not to apply for their domain can combat abusive registrations through a “Charter Eligibility Dispute Resolution Process” (CEDRP). ICM has outlined numerous procedures to be followed in the event of conflicting or multiple applications for a particular .xxx domain. Auction will be an option for the competitors.

According to an ICANN video release, this will give businesses a better opportunity to ensure that their affiliated websites are no longer ‘poached’ by, or confused with, impostors and competitors.  But this system does not come without its problems, namely the expense of maintaining additional online infrastructure, registering and maintaining a slew of new domain names – and keeping one step ahead of squatters poised to snap up potentially valuable new gTLDs. However, trademark owners need to have a good understanding of the procedures so they can be prepared and protect their trademark or names.

For more information about the .XXX TLD, please visit

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