The newest top level domain name, .xxx, is intended to be utilized by purveyors of pornography and related explicit materials.  The intention of the .xxx domain name is to make it easier for parents, technology vendors, and others who want to block minors or others from accessing such content.  Adult industry companies have the first chance to register domain names in the .xxx system.  However, after December 6, 2011, .xxx domain name registrations will be open to the public.

For owners of trademarks, there is a concern that the .xxx version of their mark will be registered and used for a purpose that tarnishes their brand.  To address this concern, the .xxx registry is permitting registered trademark owners to place a permanent block on the registration of their mark in the .xxx domain name space.  Information on the process to place such a block is below:

  • Who: Owners of registered trademarks in any country.
  • What: The .xxx blocking option allows trademark owners to permanently prevent third parties from registering a .xxx domain name corresponding to their trademark.
  • How: A block can be placed through a number of domain name registrars.  Basic information about the registered trademark at issue must be submitted along with a one-time fee of $200-$375, depending on the registrar chosen.
  • When: The blocking period, also known as “Sunrise B” extends only until October 28, 2011.
  • Why: Once the blocking period expires, third parties can register your trademark as a .xxx domain name on a first come, first served basis.  Retrieving a domain name at that point becomes a significantly more expensive proposition, frequently requiring an administrative proceeding costing upwards of tens of thousands of dollars from start to finish.
  • Caveats: Adult entertainment companies who can show that they have trademark rights in the same trademark as that sought to be blocked can prevail over a block request.

Trademark owners interested in blocking the registration of their trademark as a .xxx domain name can proceed to place the block themselves through their registrar of choice.  However, Danielson Legal offers this service to its clients for a flat fee of $400 plus registrar fees.  Our flat fee includes responding to any challenges to the registered trademark rights or other grounds for objecting to the request for a block.

Clients and other parties interested in placing a block on the .xxx registry are encourage to contact us prior to October 25, 2011.

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Who We Are

Danielson Legal is a boutique intellectual property and technology law firm in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

We represent international, national and regional companies, both large and small, in a variety of trademark, patent, copyright, licensing, and related areas of practice.

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