Towson, MD (PRWEB) August 11, 2011
"The .xxx top level domains will be launching soon," said Bowie & Jensen’s Kimberly S. Grimsley. The .xxx domains will be a means for identifying adult content on the Internet.
“The launching brings mixed emotions,” Grimsley said. “Some assert that .xxx domains will be beneficial in that those users wishing to view adult entertainment sites will know that a .xxx site will be an adult entertainment site. Also, the existence of such domains will make it more difficult for children to accidentally come across such adult material.”
However, Grimsley added, some argue that it will make pornography more visible, and there are concerns that cybersquatters could register trademarks of others that could cause embarrassment to companies, as some trademark owners may not want trademark association with .xxx domains.
Registered trademark owners concerned about a potential use of .xxx domains with their trademark can take steps to block .xxx domains being used with their trademark. The ICM Registry, which will administer .xxx domains, is providing a prelaunch period known as a Sunrise Period to reserve names, which will begin on September 7, 2011 and will last for 52 days (until October 28th). There are two Sunrise categories during this prelaunch period: Sunrise A is for verified members of the adult entertainment industry with registered trademarks or who have an existing domain for the particular name. Sunrise B is for federal registered trademark owners that are outside of the adult entertainment industry.
During the Sunrise B prelaunch period, owners of federally registered trademarks outside of adult entertainment industry may apply to prevent their trademark being registered in connection with .xxx domains. The cost to reserve a mark is expected to be about $200 – 300. Upon approval of your application to block the mark from being used in connection with .xxx domains and if there are no conflicting applications by a Sunrise A applicant, the domain will be designated “reserved-trademark” (or something similar) and will be blocked from registration. Once this period ends, trademark owners will have another opportunity to reserve their marks during the General Availability Period beginning December 6th.
Not all trademark owners are eligible to block their trademark during the Sunrise B period, and those not eligible may register a non-resolving .xxx domain during the General Availability Period. Under the ICM Registry Terms of Service, a registered trademark under Sunrise B eligibility does not include federal trademark applications that have not been registered as of September 1, 2011, unregistered trademarks (common law trademark users), state registrations, registrations on the United States Patent and Trademark Office Supplemental Register and international applications for registration under the Madrid system, unless the application is based on or have resulted in a registered trademark of national effect. Also, those with other rights in a name such as trade name or domain names used as trademark are not eligible under the Sunrise B Period. These owners of unregistered trademarks or other rights noted above who are concerned with the potential use of .xxx domains may apply to register their mark as a non-resolving .xxx domain during the General Availability Period, which begins on December 6, 2011. During the General Availability Period, these domains will be allocated on a first come, first served basis along with those requesting to register .xxx domains. Once a trademark owner registers its mark as a non-resolving .xxx domain, queries on the domain will return a non-existent domain result.
Therefore, trademark owners concerned about the potential use of .xxx domains with their trademark and who fall within the Sunrise B Period requirements should consider applying to block the use of their mark under .xxx domains during the Sunrise Period beginning September 7th. Those trademark owners who are not eligible under the Sunrise B Period but who are concerned with potential use of .xxx domains with their trademark should consider applying for a non-resolving .xxx domain with their mark on the December 6th opening of the General Availability Period.
About Bowie & Jensen
Bowie & Jensen is a Maryland-based law firm with attorneys representing clients around the world. Bowie & Jensen focuses on Business Litigation, Business Transactions, Intellectual Property, Employment Law, Estates & Trusts, Tax and Construction Law. For more information on Bowie & Jensen, please visit http://www.bowie-jensen.com.