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.xxx Domain Names: Trademark Holders Beware!

.xxx added to top level domains - xxx domain namesThe Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the body responsible for managing top-level domain name spaces (e.g., .com, .org, .edu and .gov), recently approved .xxx as a new top-level domain name space.  .xxx top-level domain names are intended for adult content.  However, the .xxx top-level domain could result in an unwanted affiliation between your brand and the adult entertainment industry or create an opportunity for brandjackers and cybersquatters to register “YourCompany.xxx” in order to trade off your company’s brand or extract payments.

To protect against these risks, trademark holders can take advantage of a “sunrise period” to defensively register “YourCompany.xxx” domain names.  Defensive registration allows a trademark holder to remove the risk of brandjacking or cybersquatting, while protecting its brand from unwanted association with adult content.

The “sunrise period” for defensive registration is slated to begin in the late summer. In order to defensively register a .xxx top-level domain name space, the registrant must have a trademark that corresponds to the .xxx domain name that the registrant seeks to defensively register.  After defensively registering a .xxx top-level domain name, an Internet user seeking “YourCompany.xxx” would reach a web page indicating that “YourCompany.xxx” has been reserved from use.

To learn more about defensive registration of .xxx top-level domain names visit www.icmregistry.com or contact me if you have any questions.

Categories: Domain Name Registration, Trademarks

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focuses his practice in the areas of Michigan non-property tax disputes, business entity selection, corporate transactions, and information technology.

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